The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the green light to Eli Lilly’s drug tirzepatide, marketed as Zepbound, for weight loss treatment. This approval expands the use of the drug, which was previously approved for Type 2 diabetes treatment under the name Mounjaro. The new approval allows adults with obesity or overweight with at least one weight-related condition to use Zepbound for chronic weight management.
Zepbound is expected to be available in the U.S. by year-end, with a list price of approximately $1,060 for a month’s supply. The approval of Zepbound for weight loss strengthens Eli Lilly’s position in the growing obesity drug market, which analysts predict could reach $100 billion by 2030.
Zepbound is a weekly injection that works by activating two hormones in the body, GLP-1 and GIP, which slow the emptying of the stomach and suppress appetite. The FDA approval was based on two late-stage trials that demonstrated significant weight loss in participants over 72 weeks.
However, access to tirzepatide and similar treatments remains a challenge due to high costs and insurance coverage issues. Eli Lilly is launching a savings card program to expand access to Zepbound, potentially reducing costs for insured and uninsured patients.
The FDA has also issued warnings about potential side effects of Zepbound, including nausea, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, and allergic reactions. The agency also noted that the drug caused thyroid C-cell tumors in rats, but it’s unclear if this effect occurs in humans.
Read more at CNBC.