Business Essentials for Professionals


Forecasts For Weight-Loss Drugs Increase To $150 Billion As Supply Increases

Forecasts For Weight-Loss Drugs Increase To $150 Billion As Supply Increases
Some analysts have raised the yearly worldwide sales projections for the therapies to around $150 billion by the early 2030s due to factors such as likely expanded usage, an expanding number of potential competitors, and the millions of people seeking access to weight-loss medications from Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly boosting supply.
Top sales expectations were in the $100 billion area a year ago.
"Having a medication that is grabbing the interest of millions of people is extremely uncommon," stated Michael Kleinrock, senior research director of the healthcare analytics company IQVIA Institute for Data Science.
Most insurers do not cover the new therapies with low co-payments, but an unprecedented percentage of people are paying themselves or with coupons from drug manufacturers, he said.
According to IQVIA's most recent five-year projection, global spending on pharmaceuticals for obesity was $24 billion last year and may reach $131 billion by 2028. This prediction of 27% yearly growth contrasts with an earlier forecast of 13%.
In the absence of increased insurance coverage, IQVIA estimated that worldwide obesity-drug spending might be as low as $39 billion in 2028, compared to a more likely $74 billion.
According to Kleinrock, additional factors that might affect the company's ability to achieve $131 billion include how long patients take a medicine, if it is utilised to treat other conditions, or even the creation of new direct-to-consumer sales models.
He stated that despite shortages that restricted sales in 2023 are now being addressed, production capacity continues to be the primary factor limiting sales.
Although supplies of Lilly's Zepbound and Novo's Wegovy are still limited, the firms have been raising production.
The yearly sales of weight-loss drugs are expected to exceed $150 billion by 2033, according to BMO Capital Markets, an increase from their previous prediction of over $100 billion by the early 2030s.
By 2032, Leerink anticipates $158 billion in yearly sales.
The argument for employers and insurers to cover the cost of self-injected medications is supported by analysts who point to new evidence demonstrating the meds' ability to treat chronic illnesses like sleep apnea or prevent expensive emergencies like heart attacks and stroke.
Tema Obesity & Cardiometabolic ETF portfolio manager David Song stated, "There's consumer demand and the unmet medical need."
"A 100 million plus Americans are obese, and even more are overweight. Worldwide, there are estimates out there of close to a billion who are obese."
The new drugs have U.S. list costs of more than $1,000 a month, but sales have propelled Lilly and Novo into the top 100 most valuable firms in the world. Lilly's stock has increased 36% so far this year, while Novo's has up 33%.
Competitors see space for more convenient treatments, better weight reduction programmes, or promises of extra health advantages. Certain individuals want to enhance the longevity or calibre of weight reduction by differentiating between lean and fat body mass.
Next-generation chemicals are also being developed by Novo and Lilly.
According to IQVIA, more than 80 investigational medications for obesity have advanced to the point of human testing.
The majority of medications in the pipeline, such as Wegovy and Zepbound, mimic the intestinal hormone GLP-1, either alone or in conjunction with other treatments that target the second hormone, GIP, such Amgen's Maritide. Amgen anticipates late this year mid-stage study findings.
In addition to GLP-1, GIP, or both, other investigational medications, such as Lilly's retatrutide, also target the hormone glucagon, which regulates blood sugar.
Medications like Novo's amycretin, which targets the pancreatic hormone amylin, which influences appetite, in addition to binding to GLP-1, are included in the third biggest group.
Song stated that "there will be price competition" as new competitors join the market, but the best-case scenario is that access will increase and volume would counteract price erosion.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc