Analysts estimate $100 billion in earnings from anti-obesity drugs over the next decade.
Approximately one in sixty U.S. adults is presently prescribed one of the industry’s breakout stars, Wegovy, Ozempic, or Mounjaro.
Mounjaro is pursuing regulatory approval as a weight loss drug, and Wegovy manufacturer Novo Nordisk announced last week that it would have to begin rationing the drug to meet soaring demand.
Already an estimated 40 percent of American adults are obese, making them eligible for one of the blockbuster medicines, and by 2030, the majority of us are projected to be obese, thereby expanding the market.
How many individuals are using them?
More than five million prescriptions for weight management were written in 2022 for Ozempic, Mounjaro, Rybelsus (for another Novo drug that employs semaglutide), or Wegovy.
Compared to just over 230,000 in 2019, this represents an increase of more than 2,000% over three years.
Already in 2023, physicians have prescribed more than 832,700 Wegovy prescriptions.
Due to demand exceeding production capacity, the business said this week that it would cut US Wegovy beginning dosage supplies.
Novo stated, “These trends suggest that the demand for Wegovy in the United States will exceed our current supply capacity… We anticipate that a significant number of patients will have difficulty completing Wegovy prescriptions at these doses through September.
How do they function?
Wegovy and Ozempic contain the identical active ingredient, liraglutide, but are not interchangeable.
Wegovy is a higher-dose version that is approved for weight loss in individuals with a body mass index of at least 30, or overweight individuals with a BMI of at least 27 and a weight-related medical condition.
Ozempic is authorized for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, but it is prescribed “off-label” for obesity.
Semaglutide mimics GLP-1, a brain hormone that governs hunger and satiety, to aid weight loss.