Ad spending for obesity, diabetes drugs is soaring this year, as drugmakers shell out nearly $500 million


A view of a plastic model of a stomach during an interview with Doctor Thomas Horbach, specialist in surgery, visceral surgery and nutritional medicine on Novo Nordisk, which will start selling its hugely popular obesity drug Wegovy in Germany later this month, in Munich, Germany, July 17, 2023.

Christine Uyanik | Reuters

Drugmakers spent nearly $500 million on advertisements for obesity and diabetes treatments in the U.S. during the first seven months of this year, up 20% from the same period a year ago, according to new data released Friday. The data from MediaRadar shows the companies’ rush to attract new customers following months of hype surrounding

Novo Nordic Ozempic, a diabetes drug, and Wegovy, a weight loss product. These drugs and other similar treatments are in high demand because they help patients shed unwanted pounds. U.S. The GLP-1s mimic a hormone that is produced in the stomach to suppress an individual’s appetite. health care providers wrote more than 9 million prescriptions for Ozempic, Wegovy and other obesity and diabetes drugs during the last three months of 2022, up 300% from early 2020.

MediaRadar compiled ad spending from national TV broadcasts, print publications, newspapers and websites and social media platforms from Jan. 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023. The top four drugs advertised in the media were Ozempic and Wegovy. Novo Nordisk’s diabetes drug Rybelsus, as well as Boehringer-Ingelheim’s own diabetes treatment Jardiance. According to data, these four treatments together accounted for about $358 million or three quarters of the total advertising spending on obesity and diabetes medications during the first seven month of this year.

Spending on Ozempic ads was $120 million during that time period, up 23% from the same period last year.

MediaRadar said in a statement that Ozempic’s rise in popularity has had a “positive impact on similar medications.” MediaRadar CEO Todd Krizelman stated in a statement that “a rising tide raises all boats.” As Ozempic grows in popularity, so too does the demand for weight loss and diabetes medications, including Wegovy. This drug has been making a big impact this year, especially from Q2 forward. MediaRadar reports that Wegovy spent more than $20m in the first seven month of the year. This is mainly due to an increase in spending between April and July. MediaRadar reported that Novo Nordisk halted key promotional advertising in May, namely local and national television advertising. MediaRadar reported that the majority of the money spent on advertising the drug went to digital media, including online video.