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Most doses of Eli Lilly’s Zepbound, Mounjaro in short supply through June, FDA says 

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An injection pen of Zepbound, Eli Lilly’s weight loss drug, is displayed in New York City, U.S., December 11, 2023. 
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Most doses of Eli Lilly‘s highly popular weight loss drug Zepbound and diabetes counterpart Mounjaro will be in short supply through the second quarter of this year as demand jumps, according to an update on the Food and Drug Administration’s drug shortage database on Wednesday. 

All doses of Zepbound and Mounjaro besides the 2.5-milligram versions of both treatments are in a shortage. A previous update said some doses of both drugs would have limited availability through April.

The new update suggests that the insatiable demand for a buzzy class of weight loss and diabetes drugs is still trouncing supply, even as Eli Lilly and its main rival Novo Nordisk work to increase production of those treatments. 

Many patients are struggling to find the injectable treatments, which have soared in demand for helping them shed significant pounds over time. Those treatments are sometimes known as incretin drugs, which mimic gut hormones to suppress appetite and regulate blood sugar.

“We recognize this situation may cause a disruption in peoples’ treatment regimens and are
working with purpose and urgency to help meet the surge in demand,” an Eli Lilly spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC. The company expects its investments in manufacturing and supply capacity “to progressively increase production of our medicines throughout 2024 and beyond,” they added.

Eli Lilly in February said it has achieved its goal of doubling production capacity for such incretin drugs by the end of 2023. The company said it will expand production with “equal urgency” this year, with the most significant increases occurring in the second half of the year. 

By that point in the year, the company expects its production of sellable doses of incretin drugs to be at least 1.5 times higher than it was in the second half of 2023.

Eli Lilly has also said that a new plant in Concord, North Carolina, will start production of incretin drugs as early as the end of the year, with products available to ship in 2025. The company also will build a handful of other facilities over the next few years, including a site in Germany and two new plants in its home state of Indiana. 

Novo Nordisk has announced similar efforts. Some doses of Novo Nordisk’s weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes counterpart Ozempic are also in short supply, according to the FDA’s website.

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