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Limited Availability of Eli Lilly's Diabetes Drug Mounjaro: What You Need to Know

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Ayanna Amadi
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Limited Availability of Eli Lilly's Diabetes Drug Mounjaro: What You Need to Know

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed that there is a limited availability of three higher doses of Eli Lilly's diabetes drug, Mounjaro, through early March 2024. This development has been prompted by a surge in demand for the medication, indicating a significant patient need. However, this limited availability could potentially impact patients who rely on these specific strengths of the medication to manage their diabetes, prompting the need to closely monitor drug availability and demand.

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Increased Demand Leading to Short Supply

Over the past few years, the demand for new diabetes drugs, like Mounjaro, has seen a significant increase. This trend has led to supply constraints for drug manufacturers such as Lilly and Novo Nordisk. The high demand is not only due to the growing number of diabetes patients but also because Mounjaro is under consideration for approval as an obesity treatment, which could further increase the demand for the drug.

Mounjaro's Higher Doses in Limited Supply

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The FDA's website indicates that the 10 milligram, 12.5 milligram, and 15 milligram doses of Mounjaro will have limited availability. The 12.5 milligram dose was previously shown to be available through February 2024. It's important to note that these higher doses are the ones affected, while lower doses appear to be available.

Limited Supply of Sister Drug Zepbound

Interestingly, Mounjaro's sister drug, Zepbound, which contains the same active ingredient, is not listed on the FDA's shortage list. This indicates that the shortage is specific to Mounjaro and not a result of an overall shortage of the active ingredient used in both drugs.

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What This Means for Patients

This limited availability could potentially impact patients who rely on Mounjaro for blood sugar control. It underscores the importance of discussing medication availability with healthcare providers and exploring potential alternatives if necessary. Patients should also consider the potential impact this could have on the affordability of their treatment, as shortages can often lead to increased prices.

Eli Lilly's Response

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In response to the growing demand and subsequent supply constraints, Eli Lilly is investing in expanding manufacturing capacity to meet future demand. However, the company anticipates intermittent backorders of higher doses in the near future, which could potentially lead to further shortages.

Final Thoughts

While the situation is being actively managed, it serves as a stark reminder of the importance of monitoring drug availability and demand. This is particularly relevant for those managing chronic conditions like diabetes which require consistent access to medication. As the situation evolves, it will be crucial to stay informed and in close communication with healthcare providers to ensure continued access to necessary treatment.

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