Wegovy, Mounjaro, Ozempic… These drugs are panicking the pharmaceutical sector and fueling the hopes of millions of patients around the world: they treat diabetes, help you lose weight and can be used to treat obesity. What are they, what do they process, who makes them?
The class of GLP-1 analogues
These drugs mimic a hormone secreted by the intestines GLP-1 (short for glugaco-like peptide 1) which stimulates insulin secretion and curbs the appetite by providing a feeling of fullness.
People use these medications to manage type 2 diabetes, the most common type, and/or lose weight.
Their administration is generally done by weekly injection, but pharmaceutical groups such as Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly and Pfizer are seeking to develop tablets to be swallowed every day.
These treatments can have side effects such as nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal disturbances.
Wegovy et Ozempic chez Novo Nordisk
At the Danish Novo Nordisk, the world number one in diabetes, the semaglutide molecule is used in the drug Wegovy, against obesity, and in the drug Ozempic, against type 2 diabetes.
Wegovy has been authorized in the United States since 2021. It is marketed in Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom and recently in Switzerland. The laboratory wants to apply for certification in Europe in 2024.
Ozempic has been authorized since 2017 in the United States. It was recently out of stock, after becoming all the rage on social media for its weight-loss properties.
In the United States alone, Wegovy and Ozempic are expected to generate sales of $8.1 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively, by 2031, according to a GlobalData report published in March.
NO to diets, YES to WW!
Mounjaro et Zepbound chez Eli Lilly
Eli Lilly’s molecule, tirzepatide, is marketed under the name Mounjaro for people suffering from type 2 diabetes, since the green light from the American health authorities in 2022. It is also sometimes prescribed outside of official recommendations in the only goal of losing weight.
But since November 8, this molecule has also been approved to treat obesity, under the name Zepbound in the United States.
Zepbound is aimed at obese people, and overweight people suffering from comorbidities (type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension).
The price was set by Eli Lilly at $1,060 per month.