Why Big Pharma Is Struggling to Profit From the Obesity Epidemic
New medicines offer hope to 600 million, but drugmakers face a problem.
In a decades-long struggle to control her weight, Carolyn Mills joined the YMCA many times, signed up for the Jenny Craig diet program and tried fen-phen, the drug combination later found to damage heart valves. As her size yo-yoed down and back up, her health deteriorated.
he finally found the answer in a new class of medicines. Now, those drugs and changes to her diet have helped Mills cut her weight to 250 pounds (113 kilograms) from 300 pounds over the last six months. The drawback: her out-of-pocket expenses are almost $300 a month and may head higher. She says it’s worth the cost.
“Obesity haunts me,” said Mills, 62.
Mills highlights the difficulties big pharma faces as it seeks to profit from an epidemic that afflicts more than 600 million adults worldwide. Medicines like Novo Nordisk A/S’s Saxenda, the latest one used by the Boston resident, are safer and more effective than past treatments. Yet employers and insurers are reluctant to cover the drugs, meaning the cost often falls on patients’ shoulders, limiting the potential market.
Why experiment with Drugs?
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Shared from: Bloomberg.com