(Reuters) – The U.S. health regulator has added Eli Lilly and Co’s Mounjaro to its list of drugs facing shortages, highlighting the company’s struggles to meet booming demand for the newly approved diabetes injection.
Trulicity, another diabetes treatment in the company’s stable and its biggest-selling drug, was also added to the Food and Drug Administration’s shortage list on Thursday.
The additions come as Lilly earlier this week flagged challenges to meet demand for the two drugs, especially as it makes six dosage forms of Mounjaro and four of Trulicity.
“We do expect to see intermittent delays at wholesalers and pharmacies in receiving some Mounjaro doses,” Chief Financial Officer Anat Ashkenazi had said in a conference call with analysts on Tuesday.
The company is expanding its manufacturing capacity for the two drugs through its facility in North Carolina, and doubling it by the end of 2023.
Trulicity generated $5.5 billion this year through Sept. 30, but the company and investors have pinned their hopes on Mounjaro to drive future growth.
Mounjaro was approved for diabetes in May. The company anticipates the drug, which has the common name tirzepatide, to get nod for obesity, an even bigger market, next year.
Supply problems have also plagued a rival obesity drug, Wegovy, from Novo Nordisk, although the Danish drugmaker is also working on boosting manufacturing capacity.
(Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
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