Lilly Makes Weight-Loss Drug Zepbound Available Through Amazon Pharmacy

 Lilly Biotechnology Center in San Diego, CA

Pictured: Eli Lilly's biotechnology center in San Diego, California/iStock, JHVEPhoto

Eli Lilly is enlisting the help of Amazon Pharmacy to fill prescriptions of its blockbuster weight-loss treatment Zepbound (tirzepatide), according to several media reports on Wednesday.

Under the arrangement, Amazon Pharmacy will deliver prescriptions of Zepbound—as well as Lilly’s migraine and diabetes medicines—to patients who ordered them via the pharma’s end-to-end digital health portal LillyDirect. Amazon can deliver orders out within two days for certain patients, according to CNBC.

Amazon Pharmacy is LillyDirect’s second online dispensing partner, following the digital health start-up Truepill. The bulk of online orders will be split between the two distributors, with final fulfillment carried out according to the customers’ insurance provider and other personal details.

CNBC reported that Lilly expects Amazon and Truepill to have similar processing times.

Amazon makes for a good distribution partner for Lilly because of its “experience in developing tech-enabled solutions,” Frank Cunningham, vice president of global value and access at Lilly, told Endpoints News. “We liked their commitment to patient safety, simplifying the pharmacy experience and great customer service.”

Lilly is also mulling a partnership with a retail pharmacy to allow for pick-up options for orders placed on LillyDirect, Cunningham told Reuters.

Launched in January 2024, LillyDirect is an online platform that caters to U.S. patients with obesity, migraine and diabetes. LillyDirect offers customers a “digital pharmacy” for some of the company’s medicines and is designed to provide consistent access to prescription access, along with the convenience of home delivery.

LillyDirect’s online pharmacy solutions are also meant to help patients access the company’s affordability and savings opportunities, according to Lilly.

The digital health platform also provides access to independent telehealth providers to complement patients’ existing care teams, as well as educational information. Lilly will continue to expand LillyDirect and future updates may include new products, partners and other services, the company said.

Lilly’s digital push comes as the pharma continues to ride the sky-high demand for obesity therapies. Currently, Lilly and Novo Nordisk—which owns the semaglutide products Wegovy and Ozempic—have a virtual duopoly on the obesity space and are poised to capture the vast majority of the potential $200 billion market in the coming years.

Several companies are also eyeing a slice of the massive weight-loss market including Regeneron, which is advancing a pair of muscle-preserving antibodies designed to improve the quality of weight loss when used in conjunction with the current GLP-1 receptor agonists.

Also in the race is Amgen, which has a Phase I candidate called MariTide that last month showed longer-lasting effects than current therapies on the market. Boehringer Ingelheim is also looking to challenge Lilly and Novo with its glucagon/GLP-1 receptor dual agonist survodutide, for which it launched three Phase III trials in August 2023.

Tristan Manalac is an independent science writer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. Reach out to him on LinkedIn or email him at tristan@tristanmanalac.com or tristan.manalac@biospace.com.

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