Image by Jakub Porzycki / NurPhoto via Getty / Futurism

Novo Nordisk, the Danish maker of the injectable diabetes drug Ozempic and its sister weight-loss medicine Wegovy, is planning to slash prices amid both shortages and increasing competition.

Novo CEO Karsten Munk Knudsen, as Reuters reports, conceded that "given increasing volume and competition, net pricing like-for-like will be down in the US."

Currently, Ozmepic and Wegovy both cost patients an eye-watering $1,000 or more per month, and with many insurers still refusing to cover them, patients are either forced to pay big or go without. Many seeking these drugs, which use the active ingredient semaglutide that mimics the feeling of fullness in the gut, have turned to other glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists like Zepbound or Mounjaro, both made by Eli Lilly — or sought out unregulated versions from sketchy online pharmacies.

Because they're so in demand, there's been a widespread shortage of both drugs in the few years they've been on the market. But as a new paper in the Journal the American Medical Association detailed, semaglutide is actually quite cheap to make.

News of these apparent price cuts on the drugs comes just as the Federal Trade Commission announced that it is challenging Novo's so-called "junk patents" on Ozempic and other drugs, the first step in the long path to allowing generics of the outrageously popular injectable.

It also comes amid complicated financial news for the Denmark-based drugmaker, whose stock floundered this week despite seeing massive sales booms on Ozempic and Wegovy.

In that same quarterly earnings call, Novo reported sales of $9.35 billion in just the first quarter of 2024 and announced that a whopping 25,000 new patients begin taking Wegovy per week. Ozempic sales were up 42 percent, the company boasted, while Wegovy's were up a staggering 106 percent.

Nevertheless, the Danish company's stock dipped more than three percent following the call — and as Fast Company reports in its own writeup of the earnings report, Knudsen attributed that drop to its announcement that it would be increasing supply and slashing prices.

News of its planned price drop, the totals of which have not yet been reported, is undeniably good news for those who've been trying to get their hands on these meme-worthy meds — even while, from a societal standpoint, it will likely continue stirring up mixed feelings in the age of body positivity.

More on weight loss drugs: Tracy Morgan Says He Actually Managed to Gain Weight on Ozempic With Superhuman Eating Abilities

Share This Article