A diabetes treatment drug, Mounjaro, has been added to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) list of drug shortages.
The drug is just the latest to suffer a shortage, which was first reported by Reuters. Trulicity, another diabetes medication, was also flagged for a shortage. Trulicity and Mounjaro are manufactured by Eli Lilly & Co., and Trulicity is the company’s biggest-selling drug, according to Reuters. Trulicity generated revenue of $5.5 billion through September 30 this year.
The FDA has added several drugs to its shortage list this year, including recently noting a nationwide shortage of Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
Mounjaro has gained popularity for its weight loss effects and it was fast-tracked by regulators to be evaluated as a treatment for obesity. It could be a huge market driver for Eli Lilly if the drug is approved as a treatment for obesity. Eli Lilly has acknowledged the shortage.
“We do expect to see intermittent delays at wholesalers and pharmacies in receiving some Mounjaro doses,” Eli Lilly CFO Anat Ashkenazi said in a conference call with analysts on Tuesday. 
In addition to the two diabetes medications, healthcare experts are expecting shortages of other drugs, including antibiotics, according to Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, said during an interview with CBS “Face the Nation.” The antibiotic shortage may be due to manufacturers underestimating demand from the past few years. 
“Demand went up this year, they anticipated some increase in demand, but not as much as we’re seeing and not this early in the season,” Gottlieb said. “So it’s not any kind of disruption in supply. This isn’t like what we had with baby formula where manufacturers have been taken out of the market.”
Gottlieb highlighted the fact that the shortage was not due to supply chain disruptions, unlike some other shortages, including a baby formula shortage earlier this year.
Drug shortages are not new, but the ongoing additions to the FDA’s drug shortage list underscore the mounting challenges in the healthcare sector, including strong economic headwinds, mounting costs, high inflation and a labor shortage. 
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