Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy has launched in the UK, as announced by the company in a statement on 4 September. As a result, the Novo Nordisk’s shares skyrocketed to as high as 1.9% on Monday (early trading) to a record high of kr1,326 ($192) at a market cap of $421bn.
However, amid the growing demand for Wegovy, the company stated that the drug’s availability in the UK will be “controlled and limited” despite attempts to increase production capacity. Reuters recently reported that Novo Nordisk had entered an agreement with Thermo Fisher as its second manufacturer after a series of regulatory breaches by Catalent with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Danish pharma’s strategy to control demand is to allocate the drug to people in specialist NHS weight management services who meet the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) eligibility criteria (a body mass index of 30 or over and weight-related comorbidities) or privately registered healthcare professionals.
The news follows the research data published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which showed that Wegovy (2.4mg subcutaneous semaglutide) could reduce heart-failure-related symptoms in people with obesity.
Moreover, Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro (tirzepatide) is hot on the heels of Novo Nordisk’s peak position in the obesity landscape. GlobalData forecasts the obesity market to reach $37.1bn across seven major markets, including the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and Japan, by 2031.
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