The market for anti-obesity drugs could hit $100 billion

By 2030, the global market for anti-obesity medications could grow by more than 16 times to $100 billion, up from $6 billion annualized sales this year, according to Goldman Sachs Research. Our analysts estimate the weight management market could yield some of the highest-grossing drugs of all time. 

These new-generation therapies are emerging as obesity rates continue to rise. Based on current trends, more than half the global population will be overweight or obese by 2035, compared with 38% in 2020, according to the World Obesity Atlas 2023.The new class of drugs has achieved weight loss in the mid-20% range for body weight reduction, compared with around 3% to 11% for early generation therapies.  
Clinical studies could expand the use of these drugs if they prove effective at reducing medical risks related to obesity, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and sleep apnea. The studies “are meant to create, in essence, a wall of evidence to further compel insurance companies into the argument that it makes good pharma-economical sense for them to provide coverage for these anti-obesity medications,” Chris Shibutani, senior biopharmaceuticals analyst in Goldman Sachs Research, says on Goldman Sachs Exchanges

Wider insurance coverage — combined with breakthroughs in efficacy and safety relative to earlier generation therapies — already appears to be changing buying behavior. Consumers purchasing medications to counter side effects linked to anti-obesity drugs (diarrhea and nausea) are also reducing their consumption of breakfast foods, weight loss bars, and salad dressing. “This looks to me like a consumer who maybe doesn’t have the same appetite in the morning. Skipping a breakfast on occasion. And maybe a consumer who’s been trying to already manage their weight by consuming more salads and weight loss bars,” says Goldman Sachs Research’s Jason English. This consumer looks like “the early adopter of these drugs,” he adds.  

Large-scale adoption of anti-obesity medication could have a significant impact on the food and beverage industries. If adoption in the US reaches around 15 million people, that could erase some 2% to 3% of the population’s caloric intake, English says. “We’re talking about six- or seven-years’ worth of industry growth erased in a scenario such as that.”

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