Novo Nordisk’s drug Saxenda is the latest to experience a shortage as high demand for weight-loss drugs causes supply issues in the industry.
Saxenda will have limited availability through the end of the year, according to a notice posted on a US Food and Drug Administration database on Tuesday.
On a consumer-facing website for the drug, the company said it was still manufacturing and shipping Saxenda, but warned of prescription fill issues “for the remainder of 2023 and beyond.”
“We continue to see demand for Saxenda increase at a substantial rate, resulting in supply disruptions,” a Novo spokesperson said in an email.
Novo Nordisk’s new drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic, as well as Eli Lily & Co.’s diabetes medicine Mounjaro, have become extremely popular in recent months after studies showed they could help patients lose dozens of pounds. Only Wegovy is FDA approved to treat obesity.
Although Saxenda works in the same way as these new drugs, it is less effective and helps patients lose less weight. The recent shortages of Wegovy and Mounjaro, however, have sparked renewed interest. Prescriptions for Saxenda jumped nearly 30,000 between May 2023 and June 2023, according to data from Bloomberg Intelligence, the biggest monthly jump in the past two years.
On a Novo for Wegovy website, the company warns potential patients against switching to Saxenda, saying “we cannot guarantee supply will match the continued growing demand for weight management drugs.”