6 Reasons That It’s Hard to Get Your Wegovy and Other Weight-Loss Prescriptions

About 3.8 million folks within the United States — 4 instances the quantity two years in the past — at the moment are taking the most well-liked weight-loss medicine, in accordance to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, an trade information supplier.

Some of those prescriptions are for diabetes. The medicines are Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy (the identical drug bought below completely different model names), and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro and Zepbound (additionally the identical drug).

Pent-up demand is even greater, as a result of many individuals who need the medicine can’t discover or afford them. Without insurance coverage protection, folks have to pay out of their very own pockets. If they receive a coupon providing a reduction from Eli Lilly, folks with industrial insurance coverage pay $550 a month for Zepbound. For those that are commercially insured, a coupon from Novo Nordisk for Wegovy reduces the pharmacy invoice by $500, making the fee roughly $1,000 a month.

And the curiosity is predicted to continue to grow.

Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly have tried to reply by ramping up manufacturing, however they haven’t been ready to churn out sufficient to come shut to assembly demand.

Only a restricted variety of crops on the planet are prepared and out there to make the injectable medicine, that are tougher to manufacture than drugs. Adding to the complexity, every firm is manufacturing at the very least 5 dosage strengths of its drug.

“These are complicated sites, really technically demanding work, very capital intensive, populated with machines that are highly specialized and often made in not-so-big companies,” Eli Lilly’s chief govt, David Ricks, stated final month.

For Eli Lilly, which sells Zepbound for weight loss, a vital bottleneck has been making sufficient of the pens which are used to inject the drug.

Novo Nordisk, the producer of Wegovy, has struggled much more than Eli Lilly to make sufficient of its drug, although it’s attempting to catch up. It stated that in January it greater than doubled the availability of doses for brand spanking new sufferers, estimating the medicine would attain pharmacies inside a few weeks.

This state of affairs is uncommon, stated Erin Fox, an professional on the University of Utah who tracks drug shortages. Most scarcities contain older drugs in which there’s little monetary incentive to manufacture the medicine. “Usually if there is a very profitable drug, we don’t see shortages,” she stated.

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