Denmark faces Wegovy shortage due to rising demand

FILE PHOTO: Boxes of Wegovy made by Novo Nordisk are seen at a pharmacy in London

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Denmark faces a supply shortage for two doses of Novo Nordisk's Wegovy weight-loss drug in the coming months due to rising demand, the Danish Medicines Agency said on Monday.

The hugely popular Wegovy is given by weekly injection and belongs to a class of drugs known as GLP-1 agonists originally developed to treat type 2 diabetes.

There will be a shortage of Novo Nordisk's Wegovy Flextouch 1 milligram pen from late May to mid-June, the Danish medicines agency said in a statement.

There will also be a shortage of Novo's 0.5 mg Wegovy Flextouch pen between mid-June and mid-July, it added.

Novo Nordisk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Increasing demand for GLP-1 agonists, highly effective diabetes and weight-loss treatments, has led to supply constraints for drugmakers such as Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk.

Novo's weekly Wegovy injections start at 0.25 mg of active ingredient semaglutide and gradually increase to the maintenance dose of 2.4 mg.

In addition to controlling blood sugar, the drugs affect hunger signals to the brain and slow the rate at which a person's stomach empties, making them feel full longer.

(Reporting by Louise Breusch Rasmussen, editing by Terje Solsvik)