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Semaglutide Boom – The Beginning of a Decline? New FDA Report

January 4, 2024

The history of weight loss drugs in the U.S. is filled with meds that were taken off the market due to nasty side effects, going back to the phen/fen crisis of 1997. Many more followed (Belviq, Qsymia, Taranabant, Acomplia) .  These side effects did not emerge until years after entering the market and millions of people started taking them on a regular basis. Could we be seeing the same problems crop up with Semaglutide now? Absolutely.

Projecting huge future sales of GLP-1 drugs is all the rage right now, among stock analysts – $30 billion, $50 billion, $100 billion they say. Not so fast. Analysts are not taking into account the high cost and lack of coverage by insurers, the ability of consumers to pay for these drugs all year long, as a lifetime medication, and the ability to tolerate side effects (even small ones) over the long term – the weariness factor.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating reports that popular weight loss drugs  such as Wegovy and Zepbound are causing significant side effects in users.

The agency said Wednesday that it is “evaluating the need for regulatory action” after its adverse reporting system, known as FAERS, received reports of alopecia (a hair loss condition) aspiration (blockage of the lungs’ pathways) and suicidal ideation.

Included in the report are drugs that use semaglutide, which includes Novo Nordisk’s blockbuster pair of sister drugs Ozempic and Wegovy; tirzepatide, Eli Lilly’s major competitors Mounjaro and Zepbound; and liraglutide, Novo’s previous weight loss and Type 2 diabetes products sold under the names Saxenda and Victoza.

Some GLP-1 users have reported experiencing “stomach paralysis”, with both Novo and Eli Lilly facing class-action lawsuits alleging such side effects.  the agency does not recommend that people who are currently on the drugs stop using them. Instead, the agency suggests users consult a doctor if they are experiencing side effects.

More Analyses of The Weight Loss Market

Marketdata LLC has been tracking the weight loss market since 1989. It’s signature study: “The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market” (latest edition March 2023, 400+ pp.) is the most comprehensive market research analysis performed worldwide — covering ALL 10 sub-segments of the market, including medical programs by MDs, clinics, and hospitals. Marketdata also performs custom studies and John LaRosa, Head Analyst, conducts teleconference calls. 50+ in-depth reports about the weight loss market have been published. Learn more at: https://www.marketdataenterprises.com/diet-market-our-specialty/. Or, call: 813-971-8080.


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