LLY

Lilly partners with Amazon to deliver Zepbound and other drugs

Credit: REUTERS/MIKE BLAKE

By Patrick Wingrove

March 13 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly LLY.N said on Wednesday it has brought on Amazon.com's AMZN.O pharmacy unit to deliver drug prescriptions sent to its direct-to-consumer service, LillyDirect.

Lilly launched the platform in January to enable patients to obtain their migraine, diabetes and obesity drugs, including the popular weight-loss medicine Zepbound, directly from the company via delivery from online pharmacy Truepill.

The drugmaker said prescriptions sent to LillyDirect Pharmacy Solutions would now be delivered by either Amazon Pharmacy or Truepill, depending on the patient’s insurance coverage and other factors.

Lilly's vice president of managed healthcare services, Frank Cunningham, said they planned to split the orders between the two companies. He said Lilly was "very pleased" with the number of prescriptions it had filled through LillyDirect but declined to share the number.

A Lilly spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the website has generated significant interest since the launch and that the drugmaker "looked forward to continuing to enhance LillyDirect with additional medicines, partners and service providers in the near future."

Cunningham said the Indianapolis-based drugmaker was considering partnering with a retail pharmacy to offer a pick-up option for LillyDirect customers.

Walgreens WBA.O CEO Tim Wentworth told Reuters shortly after LillyDirect was launched that the pharmacy chain could be "a very natural potential partner for someone like Lilly."

LillyDirect was launched on the back of surging demand last year for powerful weight-loss drugs including Zepbound and Novo Nordisk's NOVOb.CO Wegovy.

The market for obesity drugs is estimated to reach at least $100 billion by the end of the decade, as consumers flock to the new treatments that have been shown to reduce weight by as much as 20%.

Lilly CEO David Ricks told Reuters in January that the website would ensure that coupons that bring the cost of Zepbound down to $550 a month were applied, and would also encourage users to avoid compounded or fake versions of the medicine.

The website also connects patients to independent telehealth providers who can complement their current team of doctors or be an alternative to in-person care for certain conditions, the company has previously said.

(Reporting by Patrick Wingrove in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis)

((Patrick.Wingrove@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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