Oconomowoc Vet Frustrated With Increasing Diabetes Drug Shortage

OCONOMOWOC An Oconomowoc veteran contacted our Lighthouse team to expose a problem many diabetics face: a statewide shortage of their favorite medication.

For Matt Dawson, Mounjaro is a miracle drug.

“For me, that was like a light at the end of the tunnel, he said. Wow, OK, I can actually take something. He’s going to check my blood sugar. I feel good. I’m losing weight.

He started taking Mounjaro six months ago for its intended purpose, type 2 diabetes.

“I was getting really good results, he said. Then you turn on the morning news channels, the ‘Today’ shows and things like that and you see all these A-listers losing weight, and suddenly everyone’s on the move.”

Dawson says Mounjaro’s sudden popularity for weight loss makes it almost impossible for him to get a refill. No matter where he calls, from the VA to every local pharmacy he can find, Dawson says he can’t find anyone who has it in stock.

What happens when you’ve had to go off medication because you couldn’t take it, asked TMJ4’s Ben Jordan.

All hell broke loose, he said. Dizziness spells, lightheadedness, blurred vision, heart palpitations. I would like to see them have a massive amount and take care of everyone, but I need this medicine. It’s not a want, it’s a need.”

After Dawson’s second stint going a few weeks without the drug, doctors temporarily switched him to a different diabetes drug. But Dawson says it’s not nearly as effective.

Adding to the frustrations, every time he goes on social media, websites and clinics promoting the weight loss drug pop up. Dawson says the problem is you have to pay a premium.

“The only way I can make it is to take the money out of my pocket, he said. So it’s four hundred dollars this month, what’s next month?”

Kyle Beyer owns North Shore Pharmacy.

“There are thousands of pharmacies trying to buy it, he said.

He can attest to how difficult it is to keep Mounjaro in stock. His pharmacy offers the medicine only to clients with diabetes.

Are you alone in this fight to get Mounjaro? Jordan asked.

Not at all, Beyer replied. It’s one of those where the next question out of a patient’s mouth is Well, you know who has it? And the truth is, we don’t. Large chains, independents, regional chains, health systems, they are all facing the same problem of procuring sufficient doses.”

The Mounjaros website displays an ad on its home page touting its weight loss capabilities. He says customers have lost up to 25 pounds, while admitting in finer print that it’s not a weight-loss drug.

TMJ4 reached out to the company that makes Mounjaro. Eli Lilly has not yet responded to our request for an interview.

Its website says, At Lilly, we want everyone with type 2 diabetes to get the treatment they need. It goes on to say that due to the unprecedented demand for these drugs, some patients may experience difficulty trying to fill their prescriptions.

“The manufacturer needs to step up and cater to diabetics,” Dawson said.

Dawson hopes that sharing his struggles gets the attention of Eli Lilly, as well as the online websites he feels are keeping it out of the hands of those who need it most.

“If there are people hoarding it, stop it! Stop them, he said at least until they get the supplies or can manage everyone.”

Eli Lilly’s website says availability will be limited until at least the end of this month as it works to increase production and increase supply.

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