Wegovy comes to Canada

After filling doctors' prescription pads in the U.S., Wegovy is taking its talents north of the border. 

Driving the news: Novo Nordisk’s weight loss drug Wegovy will be available in Canada starting today, a move that will relieve the high demand for Ozempic, a sister drug also owned by Novo, and boost Canadians' access to both treatments. 

  • Unlike Ozempic, Wegovy was approved by Health Canada specifically for weight loss and contains a higher dosage of the ingredient that suppresses patients' appetite.
  • Wegovy will only be prescribed to significantly overweight patients with at least one related medical condition like high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes. 

Why it matters: Demand for Ozempic as a weight loss drug was so high in Canada that patients who used it to treat diabetes sometimes found it wasn’t available. With Wegovy now on shelves, Canadians should, in theory, have access to both of the popular (and effective) treatments. 

Zoom out: Competing weight loss drugs from Eli Lilly has already prompted Novo Nordisk to cut prices, and with more challengers en route, prices could keep falling. 

  • That competition is good news for Canadians, who now pay around $400 a month for Wegovy injections.

Bottom line: For the roughly 8 million Canadians dealing with obesity, Wegovy could be a major difference maker.—LA