FDA Approves Wegovy Competitor from Eli Lilly

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for the use of tirzepatide, a type 2 diabetes drug, for chronic weight management. The medication, originally known as Mounjaro for diabetes, will now be called Zepbound for weight loss, according to an FDA news release

Developed by Eli Lilly, Zepbound belongs to a new class of drugs, which includes semaglutide (Ozempic for diabetes and Wegovy for weight loss) and has gained significant popularity in recent years.

Clinical trials demonstrated that Zepbound led to an average weight loss of over 20% on higher doses over 72 weeks, surpassing the efficacy of other approved weight loss medicines. The FDA has cleared it for use by individuals with obesity or those considered overweight with at least one weight-related health condition, such as high blood pressure or heart disease. 

Like the other drugs in its class, Zepbound is taken through a self-administered weekly injection and is recommended in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and increased exercise.

Dr. John Sharretts, the FDA’s Director of the Division of Diabetes, Lipid Disorders, and Obesity, emphasized the significance of this approval in addressing the increasing rates of obesity and overweight in the US, which are associated with leading causes of death such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Related: Can Ozempic Topple Fast Food Demand?

The main side effects of Zepbound include gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. The drug’s label will carry warnings for various conditions, including inflammation of the pancreas, gallbladder problems, low blood sugar, kidney issues, diabetic retinopathy, and suicidal behavior.

Zepbound will cost approximately $1,060 per month before insurance, and it is expected to be available in pharmacies following the Thanksgiving holiday. Lilly has highlighted that Zepbound costs 20% less than semaglutide for weight loss. They also plan to offer a savings card to make it more affordable for patients with commercial insurance.

Information for this story was found via the FDA, Eli Lilly, the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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