Novo Nordisk suffers profit loss over obesity drug as manufacturing problems continue
pharmafile | November 23, 2022 | News story | Sales and Marketing |
Danish pharma company Novo Nordisk, has reported a 2% loss in their third quarter sales report, compared to the previous quarter, as their obesity drug Wegovy continues to suffer manufacturing problems. Executives at Novo have indicated the situation should improve by the end of the year, however.
Wegovy was approved for use in the US in June 2021, after clinical tests showed that trial participants taking Wegovy lost an average of 12% of their baseline body weight compared to placebo. Wegovy is an oral drug which consists of the same active ingredient as Novo’s diabetes treatments Ozempic and Rybelsus: semaglutide.
However, Novo Nordisk struggled to keep up with a strong initial demand. A failed FDA inspection also led Catalent ‒ who were manufacturing and delivering Wegovy ‒ to halt production, which further hampered the company’s plans. This supply issue caused Novo to put sales and marketing for Wegovy on hold to ensure treatment was available for patients currently prescribed the drug.
Now, the two highest doses, used for maintenance therapy, are currently available, but low doses that new patients would receive are not.
In 2021, Novo earned around $1.2 billion from sales of Wegovy and previous weight loss treatment Saxenda.