Drugmakers likely to copy Eli Lilly's Rx site for consumers, experts say

Eli Lilly's recent launch of a direct-to-consumer prescription drug website isn't expected to overthrow the pharmaceutical supply chain, but competitors are likely to take inspiration, CNBC reported Jan. 5. 

The drugmaker's new service, LillyDirect, allows patients to fill some prescriptions, access disease management resources and ship eligible drugs, such as weight loss treatment Zepbound, to their doorstep for free. The offering is the first of its kind among the nation's largest drugmakers. 

The model circumvents the usual process for distributing drugs, which is a complicated dance between drugmakers, distributors, pharmacies, group purchasing organizations and pharmacy benefit managers. 

The website won't upend the traditional system, analysts told CNBC

"I don't think PBMs and the whole infrastructure that we have are going anywhere," BMO Capital Markets analyst Evan Seigerman told the outlet. "I think what [Eli Lilly] really did was identify some friction points in getting these products [weight loss drugs] to patients, and they're coming up with a way to solve for that."

Other pharmaceutical companies are likely to make similar plunges, experts said, in response to political pressure to limit drug prices and industry movements to increase transparency.

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