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India’s Generic Drugmakers to Develop Options to Wegovy

India’s Generic Drugmakers to Develop Options to Wegovy

Indian generic drugmakers such as Sun Pharma, Cipla, Dr Reddy’s and Lupin are beginning to develop their own versions of Novo Nordisk‘s blockbuster weight-loss drug Wegovy. Some analysts predict the weight-loss drug market could reach $100 billion annually by 2030 as obesity rates rise globally.

Novo Nordisk has been unable to produce enough Wegovy to meet demand in over half a dozen countries where it has launched so far. Its U.S. rival Eli Lilly has also struggled to keep up with demand for its weight-loss medications Zepbound and Mounjaro.

Novo plans to launch Wegovy in India in 2026 but has not provided a clear timeline. The Indian firms’ entry could significantly improve access and affordability of these weight-loss drugs worldwide once Novo’s patents begin expiring i starting in 2026.

Novo’s patents on semaglutide, the active ingredient in Wegovy and its diabetes drug Ozempic, expire at different times across major markets – China in 2026, Europe/Japan in 2031, and the U.S. in 2032. The Indian companies are pursuing different strategies – some making generic versions while others such as Sun Pharma develop novel drugs requiring clinical trials.

The diabetes drug market alone in India is expected to grow from $3.8 billion in 2023 to $14.5 billion by 2033 per estimates. However, creating demand for weight-loss medications in the price-sensitive Indian market may prove challenging initially for local firms compared to just taking share in developed markets.

The Indian generic manufacturers’ moves signal rising competition that could dramatically increase availability and cut costs for Novo’s leading weight-loss brand and similar drugs in the years ahead.

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