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FDA Approves Eli Lilly’s Obesity Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly’s (LLY) weight loss drug and obesity treatment, paving the way for billions of dollars in sales.

The prescription drug, which is already sold as a diabetes treatment under the name “Mounjaro,” will now be marketed as a weight loss treatment called “Zepbound.”

The medication that helps people lose weight through an injection is widely expected to be one of the top-selling prescription drugs of all-time.

Eli Lilly’s weight loss drug is expected to compete directly against Novo Nordisk’s (NVO) similar medications called “Wegovy” and “Ozempic.”

Eli Lilly has set a list price for Zepbound of $1,059.87 U.S. for a month’s supply, which is lower than Wegovy’s list price of $1,349.02 U.S.

Both pharmaceutical companies are still trying to secure insurance coverage of their medicines in the U.S.

Even before the FDA approval, Mounjaro had become a strong seller for Eli Lilly as doctors prescribed it off label for weight loss.

In its recent third-quarter earnings report, Eli Lilly said that Mounjaro sales topped $1 billion U.S., up from less than $100 million U.S. a year earlier.

In October, Citigroup (C) said in an analyst report that it expects peak sales of Eli Lilly’s weight loss drug to be $37 billion U.S.

The drugs are also expected to have enormous impacts across the healthcare system and society.

Eli Lilly’s stock has risen 70% so far this year and currently trades at $619.13 U.S. per share.