Doctor behind cross-border rush for Ozempic in B.C. is suspended in Nova Scotia


Published April 6, 2023 at 10:58 pm

BEDFORD, NOVA SCOTIA — Nova Scotia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons has suspended a doctor it says was responsible for thousands of prescriptions of the diabetes and weight-loss drug Ozempic that were mailed to Americans by two British Columbia pharmacies.

Dr. Gus Grant, registrar and CEO of the college, says the regulator first heard about the Nova Scotia-licensed practitioner from media coverage of B.C’s recent move to restrict access to the drug for non-residents.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the restriction last month after revealing that just one doctor had been behind thousands of prescriptions for Ozempic that were sent across the border.

Grant says the Nova Scotia college also heard “serious concerns” from B.C.’s College of Pharmacists about the doctor, who lives in the U.S. but is licensed in Nova Scotia as a non-resident, though he hasn’t practised medicine there “for many years.”

He says B.C.’s College of Pharmacists wrote in a letter that the two pharmacies had filled more than 17,000 prescriptions for semaglutide, the non-brand name for Ozempic, from December to February.

Grant says the college has now suspended the doctor’s licence and launched a full investigation, calling it a “serious matter.”

B.C.’s restriction on Ozempic prescriptions for non-residents stemmed from concerns about shortages after a high number of Americans began seeking cheaper access to the weight-loss treatment from Canadian suppliers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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