Big Pharma and its influencers!

« Depending on whether you are powerful or miserable, court judgments will make you white or black ».

Jean de la Fontaine. Extract from the fable « The animals sick of the plague. 1678 ».

Ozempic is an anti-diabetic drug. Its designer, the Danish laboratory Novo Nordisk, would like to put it at the top of the podium of the games of the same name or almost. Its active substance is semaglutide. Influencers » in social networks do not hesitate to praise its merits for weight loss.

In fact, across the Atlantic, Ozempic is used as an appetite suppressant and recommended as such. Its viral communication — a fashionable term — ends up causing supply tensions for diabetic patients.

The Danish laboratory Novo Nordisk is the 6th largest pharmaceutical company in the world in terms of market value. He specializes in diabetes treatments, but also in hemostasis, growth hormone, hormone treatments and obesity.

Semaglutide can therefore be used to treat type 2 diabetes. So far, so good, but it also helps you lose weight because it cuts down on hunger. It therefore helps to reduce blood sugar, body weight and body fat. Capricious molecule…

As too often, as soon as you dig a little, it smells like gas. In an article in « Trust my Science from June 8, 2021 », with the title : « Ultra-effective overweight and obesity treatment approved by the FDA« The miracle treatment costs a « blinde », -$1300 per month‑, and the side effects are nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Still in the same article, it is written and I quote: « Novo Nordisk is also one of the world’s top three suppliers of insulin, the price of which has tripled in the last 10 years in the United States for no objective reason, from $230 in 2010 to $730 per month today! So much so that millions of American diabetics can no longer afford to treat themselves. »

Always so nice the labs. Decidedly, there is not one to redeem the other.

But let’s get back to social media influencers. The December 1, 2022 issue of Le Quotidien du Pharmacien devotes two pages to this topic. Article by David Paitraud, entitled: Ozempic: the dangerous game of influencers.

Excerpts: « For several months, the appetite suppressant properties of the anti-diabetic drug Ozempic (Semaglutide) have been the subject of viral communication, and its misuse for weight loss purposes, wildly promoted on social networks, is causing supply tensions that are deleterious for diabetic patients. The phenomenon no longer spares France. »… « When the patient presented me with his prescription for Ozempic, 1 mg, at the dosage of one injection per week, several elements caught my attention, » recalls Morgane Le Du, pharmacist at the Lafayette Colombia pharmacy in Rennes. On the prescription written by a general practitioner specializing in nutrition, he had taken care to add the words « prescription of Ozempic because of intolerance to metformin ». « The patient did not have ALD (long-term illness) for diabetes; he confirmed that he was not diabetic and had never taken metformin. On the other hand, he had been taking Ozempic for several months, to lose weight. »

The pharmacist seems to have become the guardian of medical prescriptions. Blow pipes and trumpets, one of their new missions is to stop Medicare fraud. Given the dizzying hole of the latter, ‑19.7 billion in 2022 (1) -, it is inefficient and totally unnecessary.

Although Novo Nordisk is careful not to encourage influencers in its statements, « — Quotidien du Pharmacien, same article on Ozempic: Novo Nordisk does not encourage or promote the use of its drugs outside the indications for which they are approved » ‑The fact remains that the semiaglutide salesmen are having a field day. The adjectives used on Tik Tok or Twitter touting weight loss are flying: « Fantastic, magical, miraculous,… »

The universe of communication and propaganda is variable geometry. Anything goes when you’re on the « right side ». No censorship, no risk of exclusion from social networks, no complaints from laboratories, no warnings from GAFAM. Even the advertisement for « Copenhagen Pride » is praised on the Novo Nordisk Facebook page. Excerpt: « August 20, 2022: Over 500 colleagues join the Copenhagen Pride parade to celebrate diversity, inclusion and love. So much joy in the streets. Let’s remember that every day and turn it into action for everyone. » Recuperation when you have it!

Novo Nordisk condemns on the one hand and pockets on the other. Cynical business. On the other hand, when whistleblowers and free and independent media try to make known their legitimate claims, investigations and precise inquiries on social networks, curiously enough, trouble piles up. Little or no visibility, deleted accounts, omnipresent censorship, etc. Sleep well, people, the censors are watching over you.

There would be about 100 000 influencers in France. But what is an influencer? This term refers to any person who has a reputation on a specific theme through the web and especially in social networks.

« Being on the right side or the wrong side? » An eternal question that concerns the vast subject of good and evil. The good is defined in the positive construction with a minimum of destruction. Simple, explicit and verifiable recipe.

So, by giving free rein or almost free rein to their VRP influencers, Novo Nordisk, like other pharmaceutical companies, can endanger the lives of others, while pocketing juicy profits. As is too often the case, risk is minimized and the dividend is king.

Ruthless censorship on one side, tolerance on the other. Impartiality and honesty seem to be two outdated concepts.

Claude Janvier
Writer, essayist. Co-author with Jean-Loup Izambert of « Virus and the President » and « Covid-19. Le bilan en 40 questions ». IS Edition

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