filed a lawsuit against 10 medical spas in the U.S., as well as wellness clinics and compounding pharmacys for allegedly selling cheaper versions of its diabetes drug Mounjaro. Eli Lilly is currently dealing with a severe shortage of Mounjaro due to a surge in demand. Much of the drug’s popularity comes from its off-label
ability to help patients lose unwanted pounds.
Eli Lilly initiated several lawsuits in federal courts in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Minnesota, South Carolina and Utah. The lawsuit asked for an order blocking the sale of counterfeit versions and monetary damage. Compounded drugs are customized versions of a particular treatment, which are not approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Eli-Lilly is the only patent holder for tirzepatide, and it does not sell this ingredient to other entities. It is unclear what spas and clinics actually sell to consumers. Eli Lilly, in a lawsuit against Rx Compound Store in Florida, alleged that the compound pharmacy was creating, marketing, and selling unapproved drugs for unapproved purposes throughout Florida and 14 other states, rather than investing time and resources to research, test, and develop their products to ensure they are safe and efficient and to receive regulatory approval to sell them. In the lawsuit, Eli Lilly said that selling counterfeit Mounjaro puts patients at risk because they are exposed to drugs which have not been proven to be effective or safe. The move comes months after Novo Nordisk
sued several spas and medical centers for selling compounded versions its popular weight-loss drug Ozempic. The FDA issued a safety warning in May about the risks associated with compounded versions. This was after reports of adverse reactions to the compounded versions. According to the FDA database, Mounjaro and Ozempic have been in short-supply in the U.S. ever since last year. Analysts and executives in the industry have predicted that sales of these drugs and other weight loss treatments could reach $100 billion annually within 10 years.