Following the sell-out of Novo Nordisk's weight-loss drug Semaglutide, Eli Lilly, another major pharmaceutical company, is now facing a complete shortage of its own "miracle weight-loss drug," Mounjaro. The scramble for these drugs by individuals hoping to shed pounds has left many diabetes patients in a dire situation without their necessary medications.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated last month that, due to increasing demand, three large dosage variants of Mounjaro faced "intermittent shortages" throughout July. Recently, the FDA updated the shortage list to include a fourth dosage variant, and one high dosage version's shortage was extended to September. Currently, only two low dosage versions of Mounjaro are available for consumers.
On July 25th, a spokesperson for Eli Lilly confirmed that Mounjaro is indeed facing a comprehensive shortage, and the company is working hard to invest in expanding production capacity.
Mounjaro, also known as tirzepatide, was approved last year in the U.S. to help Type II diabetes patients control their blood sugar levels.
However, during testing, Eli Lilly found that higher doses of Mounjaro could help patients lose as much as 23 kg (approximately 51 pounds) of weight. Eli Lilly is currently waiting for FDA approval to officially classify Mounjaro as an obesity treatment drug. However, the drug is already being purchased in bulk by consumers looking to lose weight, even before approval.
Earlier, pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk reported that its weight-loss drug Semaglutide, both the weight-loss version (Wegovy) and the diabetes version (Ozempic), faced shortages, causing diabetes patients to revert from a weekly injection back to a daily one.
Last week, the shortage even spread to the previous generation of GLP-1 product Saxenda. Medications vital for diabetic patients were bought out by weight-loss consumers, leaving them in a dire situation without available drugs.
A research report from Morgan Stanley shows that by 2030, the global weight-loss drug market size could reach $77 billion, over $20 billion higher than the bank's original forecast.
Analysts also predict that despite increased competition, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly will maintain their leading positions in this field, with the two pharmaceutical giants expected to dominate 82% of the weight-loss drug market for the foreseeable future.