Touted by celebrities, raved about by TikTok users, and advertised by med spas, a new class of drugs for treating diabetes and obesity has exploded in popularity for its weight-loss effects, leading to rippling shortages across several of the medications.
Amid the surge in demand, Eli Lilly and pharmacies have started to tighten access to the latest of this type of drug, tirzepatide, focusing on giving it to people with type 2 diabetes, the only population it’s authorized for so far. But that’s left another set of patients scrambling — people with clinical obesity who turned to the medication as one of their few options for treatment.
The class of drugs are GLP-1 receptor agonists, which mimic the effects of a hormone that can help people feel full. Within this group, Novo Nordisk’s obesity drug Wegovy and diabetes drug Ozempic have been in short supply for months due to manufacturing issues and increased demand. Lilly’s diabetes medication Trulicity has also been in tight supply, according to the drugmaker.
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