Mounjaro: Revolutionize the Market in Spain

Introduction to Mounjaro

Mounjaro, a new weight-loss drug that promises to be much more effective than Ozempic and Wegovy, will be available across Spain starting July 1.

A Revolutionary Drug

Francisco Tinahones, the scientific director of Ibima and an expert in the field, describes Mounjaro as a “revolutionary drug.” He claims it is even more advanced than its predecessors and introduces a new approach to treating obesity.

How Does It Work?

Mounjaro works similarly to other weight-loss drugs by mimicking a hormone that regulates appetite and creates a feeling of fullness. However, it is unique as a dual drug with additional elements, making it significantly stronger.

Weight Loss Expectations

Although individual results may vary, Dr. Tinahones stated that studies have shown an average weight loss of more than 20% of total body weight. For comparison, Ozempic or Wegovy typically result in about a 15% weight loss. These additional percentage points translate into significant weight differences.

Who Can Take Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is not intended for those looking to lose just a few pounds. It is designed for individuals with obesity, such as those with a body mass index (BMI) over 30. In certain specific cases, it can be prescribed to overweight individuals with additional health conditions.

Prescription Medicine

Even if you meet all the criteria for taking Mounjaro, it will only be available by prescription. It must be prescribed by a general practitioner or specialist.

Side Effects

One of the strengths of this medication, apart from its weight-loss effectiveness, is that there are minimal side effects. Dr. Tinahones mentioned that nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea might occur but not in all cases, and these symptoms usually disappear over time. Regarding potential cases of pancreatitis, Dr. Tinahones explained that animal studies showed isolated cases, but human studies indicate no higher incidence than with placebo.

Cost of Mounjaro

Mounjaro will not be covered by the social security system initially, so patients will need to pay for it out-of-pocket. Depending on the dose, it is expected to cost about 150 euros per month, with higher doses from the fourth month onwards rising to nearly 300 euros every four weeks. These higher doses will be 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 7.5 mg.

Debate on Equity

The price of this drug, which is not affordable for everyone, raises concerns about inequity. Dr. Tinahones argued that not financing anti-obesity drugs is contradictory since obesity is a major cause of mortality and chronic conditions. He highlighted that obesity is often not treated with the same seriousness as other diseases.

Availability in Pharmacies

A significant issue with weight-loss drugs like Ozempic has been their availability in pharmacies, which have faced long waiting lists. For Mounjaro, manufactured by the Lilly laboratory in Spain, there are assurances of no stock issues. However, some pharmacies have reported difficulties obtaining it so far. The drug officially launches in Spain on 1 July.

Other Weight-Loss Medicines

Despite the launch of Mounjaro, both Ozempic and Wegovy will continue to be available in pharmacies. Ozempic is covered by social security but only for type 2 diabetics. To meet demand, Novo Nordisk launched Wegovy, aimed at people with obesity, which has a similar price to Mounjaro and will compete in the market.