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Novo Nordisk's weight loss drug Wegovy approved in China, sales time and price not announced

TraderKnows
TraderKnows
06-25

This Tuesday, Novo Nordisk officially announced that its highly anticipated drug Wegovy has been approved in China, but the exact sales date and price have not been disclosed.

Novo Nordisk announced on Tuesday that its popular weight-loss drug Wegovy has been approved in China, paving the way for sales in the world's second-largest economy.

In March, Novo Nordisk stated that it would initially target Chinese patients willing to pay out-of-pocket for the weekly injection.

The company has not yet responded to Reuters' requests for comments regarding the start of sales, drug pricing, and supply volume in China.

Novo Nordisk may have only a short window to capitalize on its first-mover advantage in the Chinese weight-loss market.

The key ingredient in Wegovy and its diabetes drug Ozempic, semaglutide, will lose its patent protection in China in less than two years, and local pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop generic versions.

In contrast, the patent in Europe and Japan will expire in 2031, and in the United States in 2032.

Novo Nordisk also faces competition from rival Eli Lilly, whose diabetes drug tirzepatide was approved in China in May. Some analysts expect Eli Lilly's weight-loss drug Zepound, which contains the same active ingredient, to be approved in China either this year or in the first half of 2025.

A study conducted by Chinese public health researchers in 2020 projects that by 2030, the number of overweight adults in China will reach 540 million, 2.8 times the 2000 levels, while the number of obese adults will soar 7.5 times to 150 million.

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