Any new weight loss drug could become the best-selling drug of all time. Can it be afforded?

In 2023, the FDA will likely approve Eli Lilly’s diabetes drug tirzepatide for weight loss — but there’s little indication insurers will widely cover the medication.

photo showing, RX pad, and diabetes injectables.

An Eli Lilly drug if approved for weight loss could become the best-selling drug of all time, but concerns are mounting about who will actually be able to afford it.

Experts are confident that the drug, called tirzepatide, will be granted approval by the Food and Drug Administration sometime next year.  If that’s the case, it would join two other popular — and expensive — recently approved weight loss drugs on the market, Wegovy, and Saxenda, both from the drugmaker Novo Nordisk.

Annual sales of tirzepatide could hit a record $48 billion, according to an estimate from Bank of America analyst Geoff Meacham. Another Wall Street analyst, Colin Bristow at UBS, estimated the drug would reach $25 billion in annual sales — a figure that would still surpass the record $20.7 billion set by AbbVie’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira in 2021. 

By Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

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