The FDA added two of Eli Lilly’s diabetes drugs to its short supply list, amid growing demand for the class of diabetes drugs that can aid in weight loss.
Eli Lilly’s diabetes drugs Mounjaro and Trulicity are in short supply due to heightened demand for the medication, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced recently.
Pharmacies are experiencing some bumps in getting shipments of the 5 milligram dose of newly approved Mounjaro, which will likely continue through January, the agency said. Meanwhile, 2.5 milligram, 7.5 milligram and 10 milligram doses are currently available.
“We do expect to see intermittent delays at wholesalers and pharmacies in receiving some Mounjaro doses,” Lilly CFO Anat Ashkenazi told analysts last week, according to Reuters.
Mounjaro was FDA-approved in May as an injection for diabetes, and suppresses appetite while boosting insulin sensitivity. The drug also works to drop glucagon levels and increase insulin secretion.
Trulicity, Eli Lilly’s best-selling drug, was also added to the FDA shortage list. Trulicity brought in $5.5 billion in 2022 up until September, according to the company’s latest quarterly financial report. For its part, Mounjaro continues to be a solid revenue generator, producing U.S. revenues of $97.3 million during the quarter.
The announcement comes as other diabetes drugs in the market are experiencing shortages due to increased demand. 
Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drugs Ozempic and Wegovy have also recently been experiencing shortages, as more and more people seek out such drugs to treat obesity or help spur weight loss. The company acknowledged that potential off-label use of Ozempic for weight loss has exacerbated the issue. Ozempic has been in short supply since August.
“While we recognize that some healthcare providers may be prescribing Ozempic for patients whose goal is to lose weight, it is up to the clinical discretion of each healthcare provider to choose the best treatment approach for their patients,” Novo Nordisk previously told MM+M.
Eli Lilly also doubled down on its goal to tighten access to Mounjaro to people with type 1 diabetes.
Eli Lilly noted over the weekend that it’s in talks with the FDA to “provide timely updates, and remain committed to supplying Mounjaro for people with type 2 diabetes,” the company said in a statement, according to STAT News. The company also noted it will begin producing the drug at a North Carolina manufacturing plant to double its incretin production capacity in 2023.
The new drugs have seen increased hype in recent months due to talk on social media sites like TikTok and Instagram; celebrities have been citing them as being effective at weight loss. As the companies aim to address the supply chain issues and boost production of the drugs, they’ll also be increasingly turning their attention to so-called ‘diabesity’ marketing in the coming years.The drug shortages have affected the pharma giant days after it released its 2023 financial guidance. In it, the company said it could launch four new medicines next year and projected revenue between $30.3 billion and $30.8 billion, driven by volume increases from key growth products.

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