Supply of Weight Loss Drug Wegovy Will Continue to be Limited

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Aug. 10, 2023 -- Novo Nordisk, manufacturer of the weight loss drug Wegovy, said Thursday that it will continue to restrict supplies of starter doses of the drug in the United States. This restriction will likely continue into next year.

The Danish company has been struggling to meet demand in the U.S. It raised its full-year profit and sales forecasts this week for a second time, and “is riding a wave of sky-high demand for its highly effective diabetes and weight-loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, which has sent earnings and shares to record highs,” Reuters reported.

Wegovy is taken every week as an injection. It can help people lose 15% of their weight.

“But the struggle to satisfy demand means Novo could lose out on market share to a string of competitors working on weight-loss therapies similar to Wegovy, vying for a slice of a market estimated to be worth as much as $100 billion by the end of the decade,” Reuters reported.

“The company said it would extend the limits introduced for Wegovy supplies, having said in May that it would halve supply of starter doses to the U.S. market for several months to ensure supplies for existing patients.”

CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen told journalists, "We've seen that the initiative we took earlier this year, limiting the starter dose, has actually helped manage those dynamics. So we want to extend that in the coming quarters." 

The World Health Organization estimates more than 650 million adults are obese and another 1.3 billion are overweight. Obesity contributes to many health issues, including heart disease and diabetes.