Despite Being Costly, Ozempic, Wegovy Prescriptions Surge 300% Over Three Years

An analytics firm Trilliant Health analysis revealed a significant surge in prescriptions for diabetes and obesity drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy during the last quarter of 2022.

The quarterly prescriptions for these drugs have witnessed an astounding 300% increase from early 2020 to the end of 2022. 

Notably, Novo Nordisk A/S's NVO Ozempic dominated the market, accounting for over 65% of total prescriptions and gaining popularity for its off-label use in weight loss.

This analysis draws insights from insurance claims data representing approximately 300 million Americans, CNBC noted. 

In addition to Ozempic and Wegovy, Eli Lilly And Co's LLY Mounjaro and Novo Nordisk's Saxenda have also been prescribed. 

However, it's worth noting that the actual number of GLP-1 prescriptions may be higher as some health plans do not cover weight loss treatments, leading patients to bear the cost.

The surge in prescriptions can be attributed to their ability to induce significant weight loss by mimicking gut hormones to suppress appetite. 

However, the future prescription volumes hinge on resolving supply shortages faced by manufacturers Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly in the U.S.

Some people, such as Hollywood celebrities and billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk, are wealthy enough to pay for the drugs. 

Ozempic is priced at over $935 per monthly package, and Wegovy at about $1,300. These drugs, like cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure medications, are intended for long-term use.

Price Action: NVO shares closed at $91.70 on Wednesday.

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