According to this research paper:
- An estimated 17% (85m people) of the EU population are obese and a further 32% (160 million people) are overweight. The average rate of obesity in the US is forecast to reach 40% by 2010.
- US sales of obesity drugs more than tripled in 2007 to reach $421m following the introduction of Alli, which accounted for 71% of total revenue. Strong support from GlaxoSmithKline will stimulate further expansion for Alli in both the US and EU.
- The majority of weight loss products currently marketed have proven to be ineffective, with only a small proportion of consumers having been able to achieve and maintain weight loss.
- The US and European obesity drug markets will expand at a combined CAGR of 23.3% between 2008-2012. This growth will be driven by the launch of several products currently in late stage development, and increase revenues to an estimated $3.1b by 2012.
- A large number of novel obesity medications are currently under development, many of which represent novel approaches to the treatment of obesity and new drug classes such as CB1 antagonists and serotonin receptor agonists.
Non-prescription drug availability has reinvigorated the US market for obesity treatments. (see Alli’s switch from Rx to OTC usage in 2007) GlaxoSmithKline is currently pursuing a similar switch in Europe with approval expected during 2009 at the latest.
But even in this golden age of obesity, not everything is turning up roses for Big Pharma.
Heightened regulatory scrutiny, particularly at the FDA, is causing approval delays and denials for all drug candidates. Sanofi-Aventis’s new obesity drug, Acomplia, is widely available outside the US but was rejected by the FDA on safety concerns.
Damn those watchdogs.
So what if a few people grew a third arm out of the side of their necks.
We’ve got fat people to skinnify!