Eli Lilly sues clinics allegedly selling knockoff versions of Mounjaro diabetes drug

A pharmacist shows packing containers of Ozempic, a semaglutide injection drug used for treating kind 2 diabetes made by Novo Nordisk, at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, March 29, 2023.

George Frey | Reuters

Eli Lilly on Tuesday sued 10 medical spas, wellness clinics and compounding pharmacies throughout the U.S. for allegedly selling cheaper, unauthorized versions of the corporate’s diabetes drug Mounjaro

The actions come as Eli Lilly grapples with a shortage of Mounjaro within the U.S. on account of skyrocketing demand. Much of the drug’s recognition comes from its off-label capacity to assist sufferers lose unwanted pounds.

Eli Lilly initiated a number of lawsuits in federal courts in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Minnesota, South Carolina and Utah. The litigation requested the courts for orders blocking the gross sales of counterfeit versions of Mounjaro and financial damages.

Eli Lilly particularly accuses the spas, clinics and compounding pharmacies of advertising and marketing and selling “compounded” drug merchandise that declare to include tirzepatide, the energetic ingredient in Mounjaro. Compounded medicine are custom-made versions of a therapy that aren’t accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Eli Lilly is the only real patent holder of tirzepatide and doesn’t promote that ingredient to exterior entities. It’s unclear what the spas and clinics are literally selling to customers. 

“Rather than make investments the time and sources essential to analysis, develop, and take a look at their merchandise so as to make sure that they’re secure and efficient and to acquire regulatory approval to market them, Defendant is solely creating, advertising and marketing, selling, and distributing unapproved new medicine for unapproved makes use of all through Florida and fourteen different states,” Eli Lilly wrote in a single swimsuit towards Rx Compound Store, a compound pharmacy based mostly in Florida. 

Eli Lilly, within the swimsuit, added that selling counterfeit versions of Mounjaro “places sufferers in danger by exposing them to medicine that haven’t been proven to be secure or efficient.”

Rx Compound Store didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for touch upon the swimsuit.

The strikes come months after Novo Nordisk filed a number of lawsuits accusing spas and medical clinics of selling compounded versions of its extremely in style weight-loss medicine Ozempic and Wegovy. 

The FDA in May warned in regards to the security dangers of unauthorized versions of Ozempic and Wegovy after studies emerged of adversarial well being reactions to compounded versions of the medicine.

The FDA has not issued a warning about compounded versions of tirzepatide. However, Mounjaro, Ozempic and Wegovy have all been briefly provide within the U.S. since final 12 months, in line with the FDA’s database. 

Analysts and business executives have mentioned annual gross sales of these medicine and comparable therapies for weight reduction could hit $100 billion inside a decade.

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