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Mounjaro Shortage: Is It on Backorder & When Will It Be Back in Stock?

Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of Mounjaro and Zepbound, has been facing supply challenges ever since the demand for weight loss injectables skyrocketed. As everybody knows now, “what is Mounjaro” and “how Mounjaro works for weight loss,” people without diabetes are buying it, creating a shortage for those who really need it. Many people who depend on these drugs are dealing with shortages and backorders with no end in sight. In this update, we’ll explore the latest on the Mounjaro shortage directly from Eli Lilly, check if it’s still on backorder, and find out when it might be back in stock.

What Are the Ongoing Challenges with Mounjaro Supply & Availability?

The maker of Mounjaro, Eli Lilly, is still struggling to keep up with the high demand for this type 2 diabetes medication. Mounjaro, also known as tirzepatide, gained popularity alongside another diabetes drug, Ozempic (semaglutide), as people, including celebrities and influencers, began using them off-label for weight loss. To address this, Eli Lilly recently received FDA approval for Zepbound, a version of tirzepatide specifically for weight loss rather than diabetes management. Despite these efforts, the supply challenges persist.

Novo Nordisk, the company behind Ozempic, also offers Wegovy, a version of semaglutide explicitly approved for weight loss. Despite these options, people with diabetes continue to struggle with securing their necessary medications due to the increased demand. Many insurance plans do not cover these drugs for weight loss without a diabetes diagnosis, causing people to use the original medications off-label.

Currently, those who depend on Mounjaro are dealing with ongoing shortages and backorders. According to Eli Lilly and the FDA, this situation might persist for the foreseeable future. Here’s the latest update on Mounjaro’s stock and availability.

Mounjaro Shortage and Stock Update

As of the latest update on March 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has listed tirzepatide injections, sold as Mounjaro, as “currently in shortage.” Eli Lilly regularly reports the availability of its drugs to the FDA, and Mounjaro has been on the FDA Drug Shortages list since December 2022. The company continues to monitor and update the situation to keep everyone informed.

As of early March, only specific doses of Mounjaro pens are in short supply. These specific doses are expected to remain limited through March 2024. The doses affected are:

  • Mounjaro, Injection, 10 mg/.5 mL (NDC 0002-1471-80)
  • Mounjaro, Injection, 12.5 mg/.5 mL (NDC 0002-1460-80)
  • Mounjaro, Injection, 15 mg/.5 mL (NDC 0002-1457-80)

The reason for the limited availability of these doses is a significant increase in demand for the drug. On a positive note, some doses that were previously in short supply are now available. These include:

  • Mounjaro, Injection, 5 mg/.5 mL
  • Mounjaro, Injection, 2.5 mg/.5 mL
  • Mounjaro, Injection, 7.5 mg/.5 mL

Eli Lilly is working hard to manage the supply and meet the growing demand. The company continues to update the FDA and the public on the status of these medications, striving to ensure that those who rely on Mounjaro can get the doses they need. If you are affected by these shortages, it’s essential to stay in close contact with your healthcare provider to discuss your options and any possible alternatives.

Is Mounjaro on Backorder?

According to a statement from Eli Lilly sent to USA TODAY, the manufacturer expects ongoing intermittent backorders for specific doses of Mounjaro. The doses mentioned earlier are likely to be on backorder at distributors nationwide throughout March. For those using tirzepatide for weight loss instead of diabetes management, all doses of Zepbound are currently available and can be ordered by pharmacies across the U.S. from their wholesalers.

When Will Mounjaro Be Back in Stock?

Eli Lilly has directed USA TODAY to the FDA drug shortage website for the latest updates on the availability of their drugs. The company will periodically release doses of Mounjaro on backorder as they are manufactured, so checking the FDA site regularly will provide the most current information.

The company has acknowledged the ongoing challenges due to the high demand for Mounjaro. “Due to the ongoing dynamic patient demand for various doses, Lilly expects intermittent backorders on specific Mounjaro pen doses,” the company said in a statement. We recognize this situation may cause a disruption in patient’s treatment regimens. That’s why we are active and moving with urgency to address these issues.” In addition, Mounjaro alternatives like Ozempic, Zepbound, and Wegovy are out of stock as well.

They are taking significant steps to improve the situation. The company continues to invest in and expand manufacturing and supply capacity globally. “The addition of our manufacturing facility in North Carolina, along with other actions and expansions at different sites, will enable us to significantly increase manufacturing in the coming years,” Eli Lilly stated. This expansion aims to meet the growing demand and reduce the occurrence of backorders.

Eli Lilly Cracks Down on Celebrities and Vanity Use

Eli Lilly is taking steps to control who has access to their drugs, particularly Mounjaro. On February 23, the company released a commercial ahead of the Academy Awards, highlighting the issue. The ad is set against the backdrop of a celebrity award show. A voiceover in the ad states, “Some people have been using medicine never meant for them— for a big night, for the smaller dress or tux, for vanity. But that’s not the point. People whose health is affected by obesity are the reason we work on these medications… It matters who gets them.”

Eli Lilly’s CEO, David Ricks, later emphasized to CNN that these drugs were developed for people struggling with serious health issues, not for cosmetic weight loss. “We’re a long way from being able to supply a billion people with these medications for obesity, let alone the people who might wish to lose weight for aesthetic reasons (cosmetically),” he said. “Thus, we must set priorities, and that’s what this ad was about, is prioritizing those who need it the most.

Conclusion

The demand for Mounjaro and similar medications has surged, leading to significant supply challenges. Eli Lilly is working diligently to address these issues by expanding their manufacturing capabilities and prioritizing those who need the medication for health reasons over cosmetic use. Patients affected by the shortages should stay informed through the FDA’s drug shortage website. For those looking to manage their treatment, exploring options to buy Mounjaro from Canada might provide an alternative solution. As Eli Lilly continues its efforts, we hope to see improved availability and access to these essential medications soon.

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