After Novo Nordisk final week snagged its hotly anticipated weight problems inexperienced gentle for semaglutide, the drugmaker is losing no time kicking the launch into gear.
With its Wegovy approval in hand, the corporate is prepping for “one of many quickest Novo Nordisk launches after approval ever,” Camilla Sylvest, Novo’s head of business technique and company affairs, stated on a name with traders Monday. Wegovy will debut Thursday, June 10, lower than per week after receiving the FDA’s blessing, and can hit pharmacy cabinets June 18.
Between at times, Novo has lined up physician occasions to unfold the phrase, in keeping with an organization presentation released alongside the decision. It’s additionally launched a doctor training web site titled Rethink Weight problems to jump-start conversations in regards to the illness.
Novo did not launch a value for the brand new drug, however the firm stated it plans to introduce Wegovy at an identical record value to its beforehand authorized weight reduction drug Saxenda. That drug prices between $1,300 and $1,600 monthly, in keeping with numerous public sources.
With Wegovy, Novo is angling to greater than double its weight problems gross sales by 2025 versus its 2019 baseline, Chief Monetary Officer Karsten Knudsen stated on the decision. Saxenda generated round $920 million final yr.
Regardless of weight problems’s growing prevalence within the U.S. and elsewhere, the illness remains to be extensively under-treated: There are round 100 million folks scuffling with the situation within the U.S., however lower than 3% at the moment obtain anti-obesity medicines, Novo stated.
The corporate is hoping Wegovy will change that because of a transparent efficacy edge over different weight reduction meds, together with its personal Saxenda.
Saxenda has been proven to assist sufferers lose 5% of their physique weight on common. In late-stage testing, Wegovy helped sufferers obtain and maintain a median of 15% weight reduction for 68 weeks, Novo stated on the decision.
Nonetheless, Novo has acknowledged that increasing its foothold in the weight problems market can be no straightforward feat. To assist market Wegovy, the corporate plans to encourage physicians to have therapy conversations with sufferers, plus elevate weight problems’s profile as a continual illness that deserves therapy with medicine somewhat than a life-style situation that may be solved with weight loss program and train.
It’s not but clear how Novo plans to focus on sufferers, however Sylvest stated the corporate’s methods can be “very a lot patient-directed, way more than they’ve been within the diabetes area.”
Reimbursement and entry will current one other impediment. Insurers have traditionally been reluctant to pay for weight reduction medication, which many classify as life-style meds resembling smoking cessation and hair loss therapies, Forbes famous.
On the payer entrance, the corporate is negotiating with pharmacy profit managers “as we communicate,” Sylvest stated on the decision. Novo can be launching a $25 copay card within the U.S. for sufferers whose insurance coverage covers anti-obesity medicines. Wanting forward, Novo plans to pursue broader Medicare protection in the long run, however its present focus hinges on industrial protection, Sylvest stated.
The FDA approved Wegovy on Friday as an addition to weight loss program and train to assist handle weight in overweight and obese sufferers with at the very least one weight-related comorbidity. The drug is injected under the pores and skin as soon as per week and can come paired with its personal single-dose supply system, Novo revealed Monday.
The corporate is already planning for extra handy dosing. Later this yr, Novo goals to kick off a 1,000-subject section 3a trial to evaluate the protection and efficacy of oral semaglutide 50 mg versus placebo in sufferers who’re overweight or obese with comorbidities.