The global weight loss drug market for novel medications like Ozempic and Wegogy is expected to grow to $100 billion by 2035, Fortune reports.
Revenue for the medications could reach $70 billion in the United States alone, according to BMO Capital Markets analyst Evan David Seigerman’s note to clients.
The popularity of these drugs has surged after high-profile figures like Elon Musk and Oprah Winfrey admitted using them to lose extra pounds.
Wegovy is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a weight-loss drug prescribed along with dietary changes and increased exercise. Whereas Ozempic is a diabetes medication that is increasingly used off-label for weight loss.
Both Wegovy and Ozempic belong to a class of drugs called GLP-1 agonists. They work by mimicking the hormone GLP-1, which is released in the stomach after eating.
In Wegovy clinical trials, people with body mass index (BMI) of 27 or greater lost about 15% of their weight over 68 weeks. Meanwhile, Ozempic may help to lose up to 10% of body weight.
Researchers are now looking at other possible benefits of these drugs. A recent study suggests that Wegovy could reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from heart disease by 20% compared to placebo.
In a large 2022 study, dementia rates were lower among diabetes patients using Ozempic compared to the placebo group.
However, the drugs are associated with severe side effects, including malnutrition, daily vomiting, and stomach paralysis. European regulators are now probing reports that the medications may cause suicidal thoughts.
A group of researchers have recently warned that the increasing use of weight loss drugs in children and adolescents could trigger long-lasting health consequences, such as osteoporosis and nutritional deficiencies.
Despite possible health risks, the rise of the weight-loss drug market is predicted to increase.