Zepbound, a newly approved weight-loss drug, is now available in U.S. pharmacies, drugmaker Eli Lilly announced on Tuesday.
"The availability of Zepbound in U.S. pharmacies is the first step, but we have to work hand-in-hand with employers, government and healthcare industry partners to remove barriers and make Zepbound available to those who need it," said Rhonda Pacheco, an executive with Eli Lilly.
Zepbound is a once-weekly injectable medication. Users will start at a 2.5-milligram dosage and gradually increase to 15 milligrams.
The medication is part of a class of drugs called GLP-1 agonists, which activate hormone receptors to reduce appetite and food intake. It's similar to semaglutide injections known as Ozempic and Wegovy, which are also prescribed for weight loss.
In clinical trials, the Food and Drug Administration said Zepbound was found to reduce body weight by 18% over 72 weeks of treatment in adults without diabetes when combined with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise. For adults with diabetes, body weight was reduced by 12%.
There is a cost barrier for people who want to get on Zepbound. It costs $1,059 per month without insurance. However, Eli Lilly said its savings card program is available at U.S. pharmacies. It will allow people with qualifying insurance to pay as low as $25 for up to a three-month supply.
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