July 20, 2024
New Generation of Weight-Loss Drugs

New Generation of Weight-Loss Drugs: Wegovy, Mounjaro, and Ozempic

Pharmaceutical companies such as Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer have developed a new generation of weight-loss drugs that are gaining significant attention and raising hopes for millions of people struggling with diabetes or obesity. These drugs are designed to imitate a hormone called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), which is naturally secreted by the intestines. GLP-1 stimulates insulin production and creates a feeling of fullness, thus suppressing appetite.

Primarily used to manage Type 2 diabetes, these drugs have also shown effectiveness in promoting weight loss. They are typically administered through weekly injections, although efforts are being made to develop a pill form to be taken daily.

While these drugs offer promising benefits, they do come with side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal issues. However, the potential advantages far outweigh the risks for many individuals.

Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical giant and a leader in diabetes treatments, utilizes the drug semaglutide in its weight-loss treatment called Wegovy, as well as in Ozempic for Type 2 diabetes. Wegovy received approval in the United States in 2021 and is currently available in Denmark, Norway, Britain, and Switzerland. Novo Nordisk aims to obtain French certification for Wegovy in the following year.

Ozempic, another drug developed by Novo Nordisk, received authorization in the United States in 2017. Due to its effectiveness in promoting weight loss, the drug faced supply shortages in recent years, as demand surged among individuals aiming to lose weight, often influenced by positive reviews from celebrities and social media influencers.

According to a GlobalData report in March, Wegovy and Ozempic are projected to generate sales of $8.1 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively, in the United States alone by 2031. This highlights the significant market potential of these drugs in the years to come.

Eli Lilly, another prominent pharmaceutical company, has developed the drug tirzepatide, marketed as Mounjaro for individuals with Type 2 diabetes. The drug received approval from US health authorities last year and has also been prescribed off-label for weight loss purposes.

On November 8, tirzepatide, which will be sold as Zepbound, obtained US approval specifically for the treatment of obesity. Zepbound is prescribed for both obese individuals and overweight patients with underlying conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

Eli Lilly has priced Zepbound at $1,060 per month, reflecting the value it brings to patients struggling with obesity and related health issues.

Overall, the emergence of these new weight-loss drugs brings hope to millions of individuals battling diabetes or obesity. While they offer a promising solution, it is important for healthcare providers to educate patients on the potential benefits and risks associated with these medications. As further research and development in this field continue, it is expected that more innovative treatments will become available to address the global epidemic of diabetes and obesity.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it