5 things to know about Eli Lilly's diabetes drug

Eli Lilly's experimental diabetes and weight-loss drug, tirzepatide, is projected to net between $25 billion and $48 billion in sales once it's approved, NBC News reported Jan. 1. 

The record for one drugmaker's annual revenue for a product is $20.7 billion, which was set in 2021 by AbbVie's rheumatoid arthritis drug, Humira. 

Here are three other things to know about the drug: 

1. Recent demand surges — partly caused by viral weight-loss trends on TikTok — for Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug Ozempic and obesity drug Wegovy have created an opening for tirzepatide. 

2. Eli Lilly has not published the medicine's price, but the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review listed tirzepatide, as a Type 2 diabetes drug, to cost between $5,500 and $5,700 per year. The recommended price tag is about half of the price for Wegovy, which costs more than $1,000 for a month's supply.  

3. After taking tirzepatide for 72 weeks, phase 3 study participants lost up to 52 pounds, or 22.5 percent of their body weight, on average, Eli Lilly said in late April. The treatment currently awaits FDA approval. 

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