Home Health Eli Lilly Obesity Drug In India Likely Next Year: Report

Eli Lilly Obesity Drug In India Likely Next Year: Report

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Eli Lilly Obesity Drug In India Likely Next Year: Report

Eli Lilly, the renowned US drugmaker, is gearing up to introduce its widely acclaimed diabetes medication, Mounjaro, along with its successful obesity treatment, to the Indian market as early as next year. CEO David Ricks revealed this to Reuters on Wednesday, underscoring the significant market potential in India, the world’s most populous country.

With soaring obesity rates, particularly among women, and the second-highest number of individuals with type-2 diabetes globally, India presents an enticing opportunity for pharmaceutical companies.

According to Reuters, Ricks highlighted Lilly’s openness to various avenues for reaching more patients, including the exploration of authorised generic versions of drugs containing tirzepatide, the active ingredient in popular diabetes and weight-loss treatments. Mounjaro, which incorporates tirzepatide, is marketed under the same brand name in the UK and Europe for both diabetes and obesity. However, in the US, it is known as Zepbound for weight loss.

The pharmaceutical landscape is witnessing a surge in the demand for GLP-1 receptor agonists, such as Lilly’s drugs and Danish competitor Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy and Ozempic.

These therapies, initially developed to manage blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients, have gained traction due to their ability to slow digestion, thereby prolonging the feeling of fullness. Analysts project the global market for these treatments to exceed $100 billion by the end of the decade.

In response to the growing demand, Novo Nordisk has also set its sights on the Indian market, aiming to introduce Wegovy by 2026. Concurrently, Indian drug manufacturers are already in the process of developing their own versions of Wegovy. Among these companies are Zydus Lifesciences, Sun Pharma, Cipla, Dr. Reddy’s, and Lupin. Notably, Lupin, and Cipla serve as Lilly’s Indian distributors, handling some of its older diabetes treatments.

During his keynote address at the BioAsia conference in Telangana, Ricks advocated for measures to enhance India’s attractiveness for global pharmaceutical investment. He stressed the importance of bolstering patent protection, streamlining regulatory policies, and establishing a robust social safety net.

Ricks highlighted the need to reassess existing regulations to eliminate redundancies that impede market entry and innovation, both for multinational corporations like Lilly and local biotech firms. These reforms, he argued, would foster a conducive environment for broader interests and foreign direct investment in India’s pharmaceutical sector.

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