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Eli Lilly Rolls Out Oscar Ad Slamming Use of Weight Loss Medicines for ‘Vanity’

Eli Lilly recently launched a striking ad called “Big Night,” which aired during the weekend of Oscars. The ad takes a firm stand against the misuse of weight-loss drugs like Lilly’s Mounjaro and Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy for vanity purposes. The commercial starts with a glimpse of a glamorous dress, setting the stage for a night of elegance. However, the message quickly shifts to a serious tone, emphasizing that these medications are designed for individuals whose health is compromised by obesity, not for those seeking a slimmer figure for a special event. 

Lilly’s CEO, David Ricks, expressed in a CNN interview that these drugs were developed to address a serious health issue, not for cosmetic enhancements. In our further discussion, we’ll dive into why the “Big Night” ad is significant. We’ll also explore the importance of using medications like Mounjaro Pen, Ozempic, and Wegovy responsibly and for their intended purpose. These drugs are meant for people with specific health conditions, not for casual weight loss. The sooner we acknowledge this fact, we head to a better and healthier future.

The Rising Popularity of Weight-Loss Drugs

In recent years, drugs like Mounjaro, Ozempic, Zepbound, and Wegovy have become increasingly popular for weight loss. Ozempic and Mounjaro, originally approved for treating Type 2 diabetes, are sometimes prescribed “off-label” for weight loss, a practice allowed by the FDA. Wegovy, containing the same main ingredient as Ozempic, is approved for weight loss. Zepbound was recently approved for weight loss management in obese individuals or those overweight with related conditions like high blood pressure.

Weight Loss Drugs Are for Health, Not Vanity

Following their impactful ad, Lilly wants to make it clear that their medication, Mounjaro, is not meant for cosmetic weight loss. The company expressed concern over the trend of using anti-obesity drugs for purposes beyond their FDA-approved indications, a topic that’s been buzzing around recent award shows. “Our number one priority is patient safety,” Lilly stated. “Our medications are specifically designed to treat serious health conditions.”

In the ad, the narrator highlights a concern, saying, “Some folks are using these meds for the wrong reasons, like fitting into a smaller dress or suit for a big event. But that’s not what they’re for.” The message is clear: “We develop these medications for people who really need them due to health issues caused by obesity. It’s important that the right people have access to them.” This reinforces the idea that these drugs should be used responsibly and for their intended purpose.

The drugmaker emphasized that these medications are approved only for certain medical conditions. “They’re not intended for cosmetic weight loss,” Lilly added. “It’s crucial that, with guidance from healthcare providers, only the right individuals access these medicines.”

In a separate open letter about the use of such drugs, Lilly firmly stated that it does not support using its medicines for cosmetic weight loss. The message is clear: these medications are for treating health issues, not for achieving a certain look.

Stars Who’ve Spoken About Mounjaro for Weight Loss

Continuing the conversation on weight-loss drugs, it’s not just medical experts who are speaking up; celebrities have also shared their experiences. Read on for what some stars have said about their experiences with drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro for weight loss:

  • Oprah Winfrey shared that after her knee surgery, she started hiking and setting new fitness goals. She follows a disciplined diet and hydration routine and uses weight-loss medication as a tool to prevent yo-yo dieting. She emphasizes that these medications offer hope and relief for people struggling with weight issues, and there should be no shame in using them.
  • Tracy Morgan mentioned that Ozempic helped him cut his appetite in half, but he also humorously admitted to out-eating the drug’s effects and gaining weight.
  • The reality TV star Terry Dubrow tried Ozempic and found it effective for losing a small amount of weight. He likens it to the new Botox and plans to use it again when appropriate.
  • Al Roker addresses the judgment surrounding weight loss drugs, urging people to stay in their lane and not to shame others.
  • Whoopi Goldberg revealed that Mounjaro helped her lose weight after she reached almost 300 lbs. due to steroid use and other medications.
  • Sunny Hostin shared that she gained weight during COVID and turned to Mounjaro to help her lose weight and lower her cholesterol. She feels better and believes that’s what matters for people using these drugs.
  • Stephen Fry tried Ozempic and initially found it effective in reducing his appetite and alcohol consumption. However, he had to stop using it due to severe side effects, including frequent vomiting.

These celebrities’ experiences highlight the varied responses to weight-loss medications. While some find them helpful, others encounter challenges or Mounjaro side effects. It’s important to remember that these drugs are meant for patients with health issues related to obesity and should be used under medical supervision.

Responsible Use of Weight Loss Drugs

James Zervios from the Obesity Action Coalition emphasizes that these medications should be prescribed in a medical setting and used under the guidance of a healthcare provider. They are not meant for vanity use, but for those dealing with obesity, a medical condition affecting nearly 42% of people in the U.S. This condition can lead to serious health risks like stroke, heart attack, hypertension, and increased risk of death. These medications must be used responsibly and for their intended purposes.

Other Concerns and Backlash

However, there’s concern that using these drugs for weight loss could limit availability for diabetes patients, who are the intended users. With over 38 million people in the U.S. living with diabetes and the high cost of these medications, this is a significant issue. Lilly has noted “intermittent backorders on certain doses of Mounjaro” due to high demand and is working to address this. They’ve also mentioned that all doses of Zepbound are available for order, and they’re investing in manufacturing capacity to meet demand. 


The discussion surrounding the use of weight-loss drugs like Mounjaro and Ozempic highlights the importance of responsible medication use. While these drugs can be beneficial for individuals with health issues related to obesity, they should not be used for cosmetic weight loss purposes. The recent ad by Eli Lilly, “Big Night,” emphasizes this message, urging people to use these medications under the guidance of healthcare providers and for their intended purpose. 

Celebrities sharing their experiences with these drugs also shed light on the varied responses and challenges associated with their use. It’s crucial to prioritize patient safety and ensure that these medications are accessible to those who truly need them. As the conversation continues, it’s essential to promote understanding and awareness of the proper use of weight-loss drugs in managing obesity and related health conditions.

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