Drugmaker didn't expect weight-loss drugs to go viral as supply flounders

Denmark-based Novo Nordisk wasn't prepared for Wegovy and Ozempic — which are approved for weight-loss and diabetes, respectively — to go viral, The Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 4. 

Because demand for the two FDA-approved drugs skyrocketed, they're both in shortage and the drugmaker has missed out on millions of dollars due to supply issues

According to the FDA's drug shortage website, the reason for Ozempic being in short supply is high demand; while Wegovy's is listed as "Requirements related to complying with good manufacturing practices."

Wegovy has been in shortage since March 31 and Ozempic joined the list Aug. 23.

The shortages could be because of the drugs' viral status. On TikTok, #Ozempic and #Ozempicweightloss have more than 400 million views, and as of Dec. 5, #Wegovy and #Wegovyweightloss has grabbed more than 170 million views.

"We should have forecasted better, which we did not," Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, Novo Nordisk's CEO, told the Journal. "Had we forecasted that, we would have built a different supply chain."

To date, Wgovy has made $700 million in sales — more than $1 billion less than the figure analysts assigned to it.

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