New Drug Poised to Take Weight-Loss Throne

Eli Lilly's Mounjaro is outperforming Ozempic in clinical trials
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2023 2:25 PM CDT
Look Out, Ozempic, Rival Weight-Loss Drug Is Near
Stock image.   (Getty Images / imyskin)

Get ready to hear a lot about a weight-loss drug called Mounjaro. Eli Lilly & Co.'s anti-obesity drug has demonstrated significant weight-loss results in clinical trials, so much so that the Wall Street Journal refers to it as the "King Kong" of such drugs. US health regulators are likely to approve it in the coming months for prescription use to help people lose weight. If so, there is a good chance Mounjaro could dwarf the success of Hollywood's favorite weight-loss drug of the moment, Ozempic. During a 17-month test period, Mounjaro helped a typical person weighing 230 pounds lose up to 50 pounds—an unprecedented success rate, according to a detailed report in the Journal.

Mounjaro (known generically as tirzepatide) outperformed Ozempic and sister drug Wegovy (both known generically as semaglutide and both made by Novo Nordisk AS) by helping patients lose up to 22.5% of their weight over 72 weeks compared to the latter two's 17%. The Atlantic also digs into all this, suggesting that as high-profile as it currently is, Ozempic is about to become "old news." Mounjaro and Ozempic both help control blood sugar, according to, and Ozempic may prevent heart attacks and strokes. Both medications have side effects like nausea and diarrhea, though practitioners might prescribe additional medications to help with those.

With an annual sales potential of $25 billion, Mounjaro could become one of the highest-selling drugs ever. Like Wegovy and Ozempic, Mounjaro is approved by the FDA for diabetes, but the medications have a hand in weight loss by regulating blood sugar and tamping down appetite. "In a shock to no one, off-label use has reportedly become so rampant in Hollywood and other circles in which people can afford to pay upwards of $1,000 for a month’s supply that an Ozempic joke made it into the Oscars’ telecast last month," per New York magazine. Of the three, only Wegovy is currently approved to be prescribed for weight loss in addition to diabetes. (More Big Pharma stories.)

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