Shares of Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly were both pushed higher on Thursday due to sales of their Type 2 diabetes and weight loss medications in the third quarter, despite shortages of the three key products, Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro.
This year, the three drugs have experienced a surge in demand, as they have been found to yield more dramatic whole-body slimming outcomes than the earlier GLP-1s — medications that replicate a hormone in the body that delays digestion and increases insulin production.
Novo’s profits in the third quarter rose to $1.37 billion, which is a 200% increase in comparison to the same time period in the previous year. This success was mainly attributed to Wegovy and Saxenda, medications used to treat obesity.
For the first nine months of 2023, the company’s GLP-1 portfolio experienced a 60% growth, with the Wegovy sales soaring by 467%. This was according to North America executive vice president Doug Langa.
Sales of Wegovy and Ozempic together totaled $4.8 billion in the quarter; however, the demand for the drugs is much higher than the amount that is available. Consequently, Novo Nordisk has had to limit the output of the drugs in higher doses and prioritize existing patients. As a result, the company has not seen a great influx of new prescriptions until it can produce more.
Eli Lilly noticed a gain of $1.41 billion from Mounjaro, a medication only accepted for treating diabetes at present but due to anticipate a greenlight from the FDA as a single-purpose weight loss drug before the year ends. Consequently, the company is intensifying production in order to meet the predicted demand that will surpass the availability.
To gain an understanding of the real business impact of Ozempic, Wegovy and other weight loss drugs, you can find more information here.
Executives from the company declared during the earnings call on Thursday that they are counting on multiple producers to expand their inventory.
CEO David Ricks stated that they were not content with the capacity they had already declared. He further added that they would be sending out more of it without making any more announcements.
This year, the injection therapy for weight loss has become increasingly favored, leading to a rise in the number of companies and organizations related to it. According to recent studies, it is expected that the bigger companies and coverage will increase twofold by 2024.