Published on November 11, 2023, 1:02 am

The weight loss industry is booming, with the market for weight-loss drugs projected to reach a staggering $100 billion by 2030 according to Goldman Sachs. However, the field currently has only a few players. Novo Nordisk was the first to enter the market with their drug Wegovy, which has seen an unprecedented increase in demand. Sales of Wegovy have spiked by 734% in the last quarter compared to the previous year, leading to widespread supply shortages.

Now, there is a highly anticipated rival on the horizon. Eli Lilly’s Zepbound has recently received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), providing consumers with another option to consider in terms of efficacy and price. Additionally, UK regulators have given their approval for Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro for weight-loss management use.

It is important to note that Wegovy and Zepbound are currently the only two drugs approved by the FDA to treat obesity in the United States. Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro are approved in both the US and UK for treating type 2 diabetes.

Both Zepbound and Mounjaro contain tirzepatide as their main ingredient. Clinical trials of tirzepatide have shown an impressive average weight loss of 26% over the course of one year. In one trial conducted by Eli Lilly, participants who took the drug for 36 weeks and were then switched to a placebo maintained a 9.5% weight loss from their baseline at 88 weeks. A similar story emerged from Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide trials, where half of the participants had lost 15% of their body weight at 68 weeks, with a third experiencing a weight loss of 20%.

Although still in trial phases, Eli Lilly’s experimental drug retatrutide has already shown promising results. In phase two tests, participants lost an average of 24% of their body weight within 48 weeks.

In terms of cost, Zepbound will be available in the US after Thanksgiving with a price tag of $1,059.87 for a month’s supply. This makes it more than 20% cheaper than Wegovy, which costs $1,349 per month. As employers consider adding weight-loss drugs to their insurance coverage plans, price may become a crucial factor alongside the drugs’ efficacy in helping people lose weight.

As the market for weight-loss drugs continues to grow and more options become available to consumers, it is likely that the effectiveness and affordability of these medications will be subjected to increasing scrutiny. It remains to be seen how this booming industry will evolve, but one thing is certain: the demand for effective weight-loss solutions is higher than ever before.