Novo Nordisk Turns to Patient Influencers to Pedal Weight Loss Drug

Novo Nordisk Turns to Patient Influencers to Pedal Weight Loss Drug

( – Many people dream of losing a few pounds, whether it’s to feel a bit lighter moving around, decrease the risk of health complications, or look better in their favorite outfits. Knowing this desire is within many people, in particular young Americans, some drug companies are turning to social media and its users to advertise and push their medications.

A new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research highlights that major pharmaceutical companies are using “patient influencers” on TikTok and Instagram to push their brands to millennials and Gen Zers. Instead of having a doctor’s recommendation, these companies are getting influencers to share their personal stories and recommendations to get people interested in their drugs.

One example of this is the drug Wegovy, which Novo Nordisk manufactures. The drug, which is also known as semaglutide and Ozempic, was originally marketed as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. However, people soon began to talk about its ability to make people feel fuller for longer, leading to weight loss. According to The National Pulse, by 2020, doctors had prescribed Wegovy for its weight-loss effects over four million times in the United States, putting it at number 129 on the nation’s list of most prescribed drugs. It’s so popular, in fact, that the drugs are often in short supply, leading to out-of-stock issues for diabetics.

The scientists who studied the effects of this Direct to Consumer (DTC) advertising emphasized it “raises ethical questions that need more investigation.” Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk once admitted to using the drug to assist with weight loss, and many people have wondered if Kim Kardashian also took it to fit into a dress previously worn by Marilyn Monroe.

Novo Nordisk is also trying to get Congress to add its obesity prescription to the list of medications covered by Medicare and has partnered with The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The pharmaceutical company’s work specifically with Black Americans has raised quite a bit of controversy as well.

Copyright 2023,