Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly expect sales of their diabetes and obesity drugs to increase in the coming years, limited only by their availability.
Both companies are the main beneficiaries of the global boom in drugs for overweight, which has increased their market value and changed the expectations not only of the health sector, but also of sellers of sweet snacks, nutritional aids and packaged foods.
Sales of Novo’s Wegovy and Ozempic and Lilly’s Mounjaro beat expectations in the latest quarter, the companies reported Thursday.
The supply situation could worsen once Lilly’s Mounjaro, currently approved only for type 2 diabetes but more used for weight loss, gains approval in the United States to treat obesity, perhaps at the end of the anus.
The Danish drugmaker, which this year overtook LVMH as Europe’s most valuable listed company, posted record operating profit and sales in the third quarter, underscoring Wegovy’s remarkable success to date.
Novo Nordisk said Thursday that it will provide “significantly” more doses of Wegovy in the United States next year, although it warned that weight shortages will continue in the short and medium term. .
“Today, the market is driven by supply and every vial (of these weight loss drugs) is used,” said Evan Seigerman, an analyst at BMO.
Novo expects double-digit sales growth in 2024 for Wegovy and Ozempic, which share the same active ingredient, semaglutide.
Lilly, headquartered in Indianapolis and currently the world’s most valuable health care company, valued at $526 billion, reported Mounjaro sales of $1.41 billion, surpassing $1 billion for the first time.
By the end of 2023 it aims to double the supply capacity of the previous year.
“With all the investments we made and production plans, the expected demand (for Mounjaro) will be significant. So we will be in a tight situation for some time,” said Anat Ashkenazi, chief Lilly’s financial officer, in an interview. .
Novo in May limited the number of US patients who could start treatment with Wegovy.
“In 2024 we will supply more than in 2023,” Novo CFO Karsten Munk Knudsen said in an interview.
The success of these drugs and the publicity around them sparked a buying frenzy in Novo and Lilly shares, which rose 47% and 52%, respectively, in 2023.