Addressing Semaglutide Shortages: Navigating the Challenge with Your Trusted Healthcare Partner

Amid the ever-evolving healthcare landscape, unexpected challenges can emerge, like the current scarcity of semaglutide. At University Compounding Pharmacy, we understand the importance of easy prescribing, a quick practice-specific drug catalog, and straightforward payment solutions. Our commitment to you and your patients remains steadfast as we stand by your side to address semaglutide shortages.


Why Semaglutide Matters


Semaglutide has emerged as a transformative medication in recent times. Initially developed to regulate blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes, its journey didn’t stop there. In 2021, it gained FDA approval as a weight loss medication, extending its horizon to tackle obesity.


Semaglutide Shortages: The Current Scenario


Challenges are inherent in any healthcare journey, and semaglutide is no exception. Commercial semaglutide is facing shortages, making it difficult for healthcare providers to secure an adequate supply for their patients. However, this is where University Compounding Pharmacy supports you in your patient care journey.


Pharmacy Compounding: A Vital Element of Healthcare


In the intricate fabric of the American healthcare system, pharmacy compounding emerges as an indispensable thread. Traditional compounding, practiced by skilled pharmacists, crafts custom medications for individual patient prescriptions. This time-honored practice, rooted in federal law, serves a crucial purpose. While manufactured drugs are the cornerstone, they often lack the diverse strengths and dosage forms necessary for every patient. Healthcare providers require the flexibility to prescribe customized medications when they believe a manufactured drug isn’t the ideal solution for a human or animal patient.


It’s vital to clarify that compounded drugs are far from being “knock-offs,” as some media portray them. Instead, they are legitimate therapies crafted from pure bulk ingredients by pharmacies that adhere to the rigorous compounding standards of the US Pharmacopeia. State boards of pharmacy license these pharmacies and are subject to inspections by both these state boards and the FDA.

When dispensing a compounded medication, a healthcare professional—a doctor, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or veterinarian—has thoughtfully prescribed it. Compounded drugs are not substitutions for FDA-approved drugs. Healthcare professionals prescribe compounded medications when a customized dosage strength, form, or combination is most suitable for the patient’s need.


Healthcare providers believe that compounded medications make up approximately 1% to 3% of all prescriptions written in the U.S. Chances are that you or someone you know has benefited from a compounded drug, whether for personal health or the well-being of a beloved pet.


What Medications Can Be Compounded?


Federal law sets criteria for active pharmaceutical ingredients eligible for use in compounded human-health medications. To be considered for compounding, an active pharmaceutical ingredient must:

  1. Be a component of an FDA-approved drug product.
  2. Have an applicable USP or National Formulary monograph.
  3. Appear on the 503A Bulks List published by the FDA.

Additionally, federal law generally prohibits the compounding of a medication that is a direct copy of an FDA-approved drug. However, there are exceptions, such as during drug shortages. 


Semaglutide Shortages: A Current Concern


Recent months have witnessed semaglutide-based medications listed as “currently in shortage” on the FDA drug shortage list. This development has triggered discussions in the media and regulatory attention from state boards of pharmacy, entities that govern traditional compounding pharmacies. Unfortunately, some media reports and state board communications have contained inaccuracies.

Contrary to certain state board communications, FDA-approved semaglutide drugs remain “currently in shortage” on the FDA’s official list. “Currently in shortage” doesn’t imply that the drug is entirely unavailable; it simply means there might not be sufficient supply to meet the demand. FDA guidance has determined that when a drug is listed as “currently in shortage,” it may be compounded. 


Semaglutide Sodium or Semaglutide Acetate


There is disagreement on the eligibility for compounding semaglutide sodium or semaglutide acetate. While it doesn’t meet the criteria established by the FDA, some compounders argue that the science supports its use, as semaglutide sodium is a more chemically stable and water-soluble form of semaglutide. However, the FDA states, 


“The salt forms are different active ingredients than is used the approved drugs, which contain the base form of semaglutide. The agency is not aware of any basis for compounding using the salt forms that would meet the FD&C requirements for types of active ingredients that can be compounded.” 


Therefore, University Compounding Pharmacy does not use the salt forms of semaglutide. 


Pharmacy Compounding vs. Sketchy Sellers


The distinction between pharmacy compounding and dubious online entities is crucial. Legitimate compounding pharmacies source active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) from FDA-registered and -inspected manufacturers. This API comes with a certificate of analysis that documents the substance’s identity, potency, and purity. Patients and prescribers need to verify the legitimacy of sellers when obtaining compounded medications.


Compounding pharmacies are an essential aspect of healthcare, and they become all the more critical during drug shortages like the semaglutide shortages. Compounded medications must adhere to stringent standards and comply with federal law to ensure patient safety. Patients and prescribers can seek added assurance through a certificate of analysis, which documents the composition of the dispensed medication.


Do not conflate the media’s portrayal of purported semaglutide sales via sketchy online entities with legitimate pharmacy compounding. Patients should avoid buying substances purported to be semaglutide from non-pharmacy online sellers. Only through a licensed prescriber and a licensed U.S. pharmacy can patients access compounded semaglutide.


Navigating Semaglutide Shortages with University Compounding Pharmacy


We understand that a reliable partner is essential. At University Compounding Pharmacy, we’re dedicated to mitigating the impact of semaglutide shortages on your practice and your patients. Our Impressed Advantage™ is your assurance of quick responses, on-time deliveries, and an easy prescription submission process. 


The Impressed Advantage™

  • Impressed Doctor: Reclaim your time without prior authorizations and patient education resources.
  • Impressed Patient: 94% customer satisfaction, patients contacted within 1-business day of receiving confirmation, and shipping within 48 hours of patient confirmation. 
  • Peace of Mind: Our dual PCAB accreditation reflects our commitment to quality assurance, with $30,000 monthly allocated for patient safety.
  • Committed Team: Practice support by an account manager, five full-time pharmacists, and trained pharmacy technicians.

As pharmacy compounding evolves in the face of drug shortages and challenges like the semaglutide shortages, it remains a vital component of healthcare, providing customized solutions when traditional drugs fall short. Your trust in the compounding process is a cornerstone of our commitment to your well-being. We prioritize your health and your patients’ needs. With our expertise, dedication, and unwavering professionalism, we strive to provide informed, factual, and caring support. At University Compounding Pharmacy, we assist one patient at a time in living their best life.


For more information on obtaining a prescription or prescribing compounded semaglutide from University Compounding Pharmacy, visit our weight loss page.