Novo Nordisk to curb Wegovy supply amid demand hike

Demand for Wegovy and other weight-loss drugs has been high for months. Because of this trend, the drug's maker, Novo Nordisk, said May 4 it will decrease its output. 

"To safeguard continuity of care, the supply of the lower Wegovy dose strengths in the U.S. will be reduced temporarily," Doug Langa, executive vice president and head of North America operations for Novo Nordisk, said during an investor call. 

In the call detailing its strong first-quarter results with a 27 percent increase in revenue, Novo Nordisk said obesity care sales grew 162 percent in the U.S., largely thanks to Wegovy and Saxenda, another weight-loss drug. In April, the drugmaker tapped a contract manufacturer to help meet demand. 

Wegovy went into shortage in March 2022 before supply rebounded in January 2023, according to the FDA. Novo Nordisk said it expects "continued, periodic supply constraints" and "related drug shortage notifications" throughout the year because of the unexpected interest in Wegovy and Ozempic, a diabetes drug that can be prescribed off-label for weight loss. 

The company's leaders did not specify how long they would halt selling lower dose solutions of Wegovy, but President and CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen said the move will happen in the coming months.

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