Indian pharma cos cashing in on weight-loss medicine industry

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Indian pharma cos cashing in on weight-loss medicine industry

| Updated: February 23, 2024 16:04

Indian pharmaceutical companies have started creating their own versions of Novo Nordisk’s (NOVOb.CO) that offer medicines for weight management. 

With the weight-loss market poised to reach $100 billion a year or more, companies such as Sun Pharma, Cipla and Dr Reddy’s have started work on Wegovy versions, agencies reported. Wegovy is an injectable weight-loss medication for adults with obesity.

According to agencies, Novo Nordisk has been unable to produce enough Wegovy to meet demand in more than half a dozen countries where it is available.

Analysts believe that Indian pharmaceutical companies’ initiatives should significantly increase the accessibility of weight-loss medications worldwide and lower costs.

“We expect volume expansion to increase multi-fold by the time patent expires, which is a few years from now,” Systematix analyst Vishal Manchanda was quoted as saying by Reuters. “They will also be available at a much lower price by generic drugmakers.”

“There is big potential in India… given the lifestyle choices,” Cipla Global CEO Umang Vohra told the news agency.

India has the second-highest number of type 2 diabetics worldwide, after China, and has high obesity rates, particularly among women. By 2035, 11% of Indian adults will be obese, predicts the World Obesity Federation Atlas.

According to its annual report, Novo’s patents for Wegovy, which is administered as a weekly injection, will expire in China in 2026, Japan and Europe in 2031, and the US in 2032. 

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