Pharmaceutical company further restricts Wegovy access

Pharmaceutical company further restricts Wegovy access

It’s a thriving business for the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk: The demand for the weight loss syringe Wegovy is so great that the company is struggling with supply bottlenecks and now wants to further restrict access for new patients in the USA. “While supply capacity for Wegovy is gradually expanded, supply of the lower dose strengths in the United States will remain limited to ensure security of supply,” the company said today when it presented its quarterly results.

As early as May, Novo Nordisk had to halve the supply of the lower Wegovy starter doses for the US market for a few months in order to be able to ensure the supply of existing patients. “The initiative to limit starter doses has actually helped manage this momentum. That’s why we want to extend this into the coming quarters,” said Novo CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen. According to information from the Reuters news agency, higher doses have apparently become scarce. The company denied this, but warned of “persistent periodic” supply bottlenecks and shortages for a number of products and in various regions.

Up 158 percent in the obesity business

Launched in mid-2021 in the US and more recently in Germany, the weight-loss injection has helped Novo Nordisk achieve record sales and make it the second most valuable European listed company after luxury goods group LVMH. In the first half of 2023, sales in the obesity business shot up by 158 percent.

The market for obesity drugs is currently growing rapidly. According to experts, the enormous demand for the weight-loss treatments could create up to ten competing products with annual sales of up to $100 billion within a decade, primarily in the United States.

Reduces risk of stroke and heart attack

Earlier in the week, Novo Nordisk released new study data showing that in addition to weight loss, the weight loss injection also reduces the risk of a serious cardiovascular event – such as a stroke and heart attack – by 20 percent. According to experts, the study results could possibly convince health insurance companies to assume the costs for a broader segment of patients. In the US, Wegovy has a list price of $1350 a month.

The business with the weight loss injection is profitable for the whole group: Overall, Novo Nordisk turned over 107.7 billion Danish kroner (around 14.45 billion euros), an increase of 29 percent within a year. At constant exchange rates, the increase was 30 percent. Operating profit climbed 30 percent to 48.9 billion crowns (6.6 billion euros). That is why Novo Nordisk was again able to increase its annual targets and now expects an increase in earnings of 31 to 37 percent at constant exchange rates. So far, an increase of 28 to 34 percent had been promised.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here