New Drug Spotlight: Zepbound
Manufacturer: Eli Lilly
FDA Approval Date: 11/8/2023
On November 8, 2023, drug manufacturer Eli Lilly announced the approval of the newest weight loss drug Zepbound, a highly anticipated formulation of tirzepatide. Zepbound has the same active ingredient as the drug Mounjaro, which is already approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Zepbound is the most recent drug approved in the high-profile class of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist medications, which includes the drugs Ozempic and Wegovy (semaglutide). Zepbound’s launch is relevant to plans which cover weight loss medications as part of their benefit.
Unlike other drugs in its class that act on one hormone, tirzepatide acts on two hormones—GLP-1 agonist and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). GLP-1 is a regulator of appetite and caloric intake, and GIP may further contribute to the drug’s effectiveness.
Zepbound is injected weekly like the popular GLP-1 agonist Wegovy, but its dual-mechanism gives tirzepatide an edge over semaglutide in efficacy. Used along with reduced calorie diet and exercise, studies have shown Zepbound can lead to significant weight loss.
According to the FDA, approximately 70% of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese. Many also have a weight-related condition.
Zepbound is FDA indicated for chronic weight management in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of ≥30 kg/m2 (obesity) or ≥27 kg/m2 (overweight) with at least one weight-related condition (such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol).
ClearScript will continue to monitor Zepbound’s competitiveness within its class and evaluate its formulary position and utilization management strategies as circumstances evolve. Your ClearScript Account Team will keep clients apprised of changes in the weight loss category and impacts to the pharmacy benefit.
Contact your ClearScript Clinical Account Executive with questions about Zepbound and cost containment strategies that align with your plan goals.