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It is the new botox, viagra or anxiolytic. No one admits that they use Ozempic but the data betrays them: its owner, the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, has become the most valuable listed company in Europe, exceeding 400,000 million euros in value on the stock market. It was created to help regulate blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, but it has become famous for its ability to make you lose up to 15% weight. It is precisely those who use it for this aesthetic purpose who silence it.

Like everything, there are exceptions. Kim Kardashian confessed that she consumed it to wear the mythical dress with which Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday to JFK and Elon Musk in October of last year, she dedicated a few words to him. The CEO and owner of Twitter wrote on his social network that it had helped him to be"fit and healthy." Whether they say it or not, there is an informer, the face of Ozempic. Dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank coined this term in a New York Times interview. "People taking the weight-loss drug Ozempic may notice thinner arms and a flatter stomach, but the rapid weight loss is leading to a major unintended consequence: Ozempic face. A post-Novo Nordisk face is a combination of age and rapid weight loss. "When you meet someone you saw not too long ago and suddenly they've lost a lot of weight, particularly in that area, it's like a telltale sign."

"But I think that's always lost when you lose a lot of weight, right?" reflects Ana.

This three-month Ozempic user doesn't want to be identified. "If people don't say it, why do I have to say it?" The 45-year-old fits the stereotype of an Ozempic user who neither has diabetes nor is obese, and started the drug in April. "I'm 1.50. I was always very thin, I weighed 45 kilos, but as a result of an operation and taking antidepressants I began to swell until I reached about 65 kilograms, in my mind that was outrageous." Her profile is very specific: she has a beauty salon, "you know, I have to have an image," she says.

At what cost? "I'll never forget the first night I used it. It was a Friday, the next day I already felt different: nothing went into me. That feeling of satiety at all hours. It changes the taste of things, of food, of drink... Everything. Tobacco also tasted terrible to me." In three months he has lost seven kilos but he has stopped because he does not lose any more. "I have the same unpleasant feeling with food, but I don't lose weight anymore." It loses joie de vivre. Her happy moment of the day was having a beer with her husband when she got home from work, and since she started taking the drug, sometimes she doesn't even feel like it. This is anecdotal. There are also things that are out of balance for him physically: "My arms and legs are much more flabby and that has never happened to me," he says. She tells her clients that she has lost weight through dieting.

Unethical

There's no Ozempic for everyone. The very high demand for this drug, not by diabetes patients, but by people who want to lose weight, caused its shortage in pharmacies.

- Do you have a moral dilemma?

-Well, yes. That's why I always asked my pharmacist before I bought it if I had enough that day. I remember one week he told me he had few, and that week I didn't get a puncture.

Ricardo Ruiz, an aesthetic dermatologist, points out the importance of not looking only for oneself. "It is very sad that patients with diabetes and overweight, who can benefit from these anti-obesity drugs, find that they cannot find them in the pharmacy. It is vital that medical indications take precedence over aesthetic ones."

In Spain, you need a doctor's prescription to access the drug and it costs 160 euros per box. In the United States, it's sold in any parapharmacy and not just anyone can afford it either: it costs $936. That's why it's also known as "the Hollywood drug." There, sales of any sugary drinks and snacks have dropped, something that a study by the Walmart supermarket chain attributes to the consumption of these drugs. No one here recognizes himself as Ozempic's face. The only public personality who spoke openly about it was Jedet, on the podcast of nutritionist Alberto Oliveras where he confessed that he had suffered from an eating disorder. "All of a sudden I've found myself taking weight-loss drugs... But then I thought, 'I'm not obese, what am I doing.'"

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