Anti-obesity drug market gaining traction in India

India is seeing a significant spurt in the anti obesity market after the launch of Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide (anti-obesity drug) in 2022.

According to research firm Pharmarack, the market has tripled in two years after witnessing a sluggish growth till 2021. Over the last five years, the market has grown at 32% CAGR to 474 crore in January 2024.

According to the data by Pharmarack, semaglutide has around 66% of the value market share in the anti-obesity segment.
The overweight prevalence rate in the country today is close to 22% for the main population 23% for the female population and close to 11% children. Sheetal Sapale, VP commercial, Pharmarack, said: “One in four adults falls in the overweight category. Almost 5% of Indian population of 1.4 billion falls in the morbidly obese category. These statistics indicate that as India grows to become a superpower, it is also adapting disease patterns of countries in this bracket,” she said.

The oral semaglutide tablet, branded Rybelsus, which was approved for treatment of diabetes, was launched in India in January 2022. But the drug is also prescribed for weight reduction. Since then, the anti-obesity drug market has seen a sharp increase from ₹174 crore to ₹474 crore in January this year.

Doctors vouch for the drug but there is a rider.”Largely they are good, reduce weight and benefit people with heart problem, kidney problem and issues with the liver. However, patients should not start taking the drug on their own. It is not like paracetamol, therefore, doctor’s prescription is a must,” said Dr Anoop Misra, chairman of Fortis-C-DOC Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology.Sapale said almost 11% of children are overweight, indicating larger population exposed to weight-related complications in future. Many anti-obesity drugs have entered the market today.

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