Proposed bill aims to boost the availability of diabetes drugs in Connecticut

Connecticut lawmakers are working to ensure enough diabetes medication for those who need it.
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 5:07 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2023 at 6:49 AM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut lawmakers are working to ensure enough diabetes medication for those who need it.

Viewers have been contacting Channel 3 to complain that pharmacies were struggling to keep the medicine in stock.

A bill that would adopt regulations around the drugs has been making its way through the state capital.

Trulicity and Ozempic were originally only approved to treat diabetes, but their popularity exploded after being approved by the Food and Drug Administration for weight loss.

As more people used both drugs, they became much harder to find.

“When he first elevated me to 4.5, I went to pick it up. They didn’t have it. They didn’t have the three I had been taking, and I had to call another place to get the 1.5 or else I would have been totally without it. I think that’s very bad,” said Scott Dyer of Simsbury.

Dyer was one of the many Connecticut residents who reached out to Eyewitness News to say they could not find Trulicity or Ozempic.

A woman in Wallingford told Channel 3 that she’s lost 45 pounds since she started taking Ozempic on Dec. 3.

She said she planned to take the drug for the rest of her life. One lawmaker, however, said people with diabetes should come first.

“This is a drug for diabetes and should be used for that purpose,” said Sen. Kevin Kelly, a Republican who represents the state’s 21st District.

Kelly proposed a bill that would restrict prescriptions and sales of both drugs.

The bill would only allow prescriptions for people with type 2 diabetes until the shortage was over.

“I just found that to be somewhat fundamentally unfair to those who need this because of their diabetic condition, and it’s a lifesaving drug,” Kelly added.

On March 2, The General Law Committee unanimously voted to move the bill forward.

There are still many steps before the bill becomes law in Connecticut.

Ozempic and Trulicity have been in short supply after being approved by the FDA for weight loss.