Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly launched a direct-to-consumer website yesterday, allowing its customers to receive third-party prescriptions for its drugs, including its newly approved weight loss injectable Zepbound (similar to Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy/Ozempic). Users can be connected to a telehealth service via the site to quickly receive prescriptions before placing an order.
Roughly 70% of Americans are obese or overweight, a condition known to increase health risks. The market marks the next step in the rising use of GLP-1 agonists like Zepbound, which mimic a gut hormone stifling hunger and increasing insulin production. Studies have shown an average weight reduction of 15%, among a myriad of other health benefits (how it works).
High demand for the treatments has strained supply chains and upended industries, prompting pivots from weight loss behemoth Weight Watchers and forcing food manufacturers to anticipate generational changes in eating habits. Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Amgen are expected to seek approval for their own versions this year in a market analysts expect to grow to $100B by 2035.