Some pharmacies don't carry Ozempic — but not because of the shortage

Independent pharmacies across the country have stopped stocking diabetes drug Ozempic, a popular off-label weight loss aid, but not because of the ongoing shortages, NBC News reported March 2.

Several independent pharmacy owners told NBC News the drug is bad for business. Pharmacies pay about $900 for a 30-day supply but are typically reimbursed only $860, according to the report. The underpayments by pharmacy benefit managers can mean going out of business for some, one pharmacist said.

"There have been supply issues, but a lot of independents are just telling people we can't get it because we can't afford to dispense things below cost," Steve Hoffart, PharmD, the owner of Magnolia (Texas) Pharmacy, told NBC News.

"These [payment] details are negotiated between pharmacies and external third parties," Allison Schneider, a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, which makes Ozempic, told NBC News. The manufacturer has no control over what pharmacies pay or what PBMs reimburse.

The drug's popularity has recently soared, but ongoing shortages of Ozempic have led some diabetic patients to ration the medication. Despite the shortage, prescriptions have risen across the country.

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