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Eli Lilly teams with Amazon to offer home delivery of its Zepbound weight-loss drug

FDA approves new weight loss drug Zepbound
FDA approves weight loss drug Zepbound, joining Ozempic and Wegovy in market 04:47

Four months after Eli Lilly obtained regulatory approval to sell its diabetes medication under a different name for weight loss, the pharmaceutical giant is teaming up with Amazon to deliver the drug and other medications directly to people's door.

The drugmaker's tirzepatide medication, branded as Mounjaro for diabetes, is now being marketed as Zepbound for weight loss and is administered with an injection pen. 

"Lilly has selected Amazon Pharmacy as a dispensing pharmacy option, allowing patients to receive fast, free delivery of medications and 24/7 access to clinical pharmacists," Amazon announced Wednesday in a news release.

Lilly confirmed adding Amazon Pharmacy as a third-party dispensing provider to its network. "We look forward to continuing to enhance LillyDirect with additional medicines, partners and service providers in the near future," the company told CBS MoneyWatch.

Lilly earlier this year began selling weight-loss drugs directly to patients, who can communicate with physicians online and obtain certain prescriptions through digital pharmacies that now include Truepill and Amazon Pharmacy.

Only certain drugs can be ordered through Lilly's platform, which uses third-party online pharmacies to fill and ship prescriptions. The process in many cases eliminates the need to physically see a doctor to obtain a prescription and, in certain cases, trekking to a pharmacy to fill it. 

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The partnership with Amazon comes amid surging demand for Zepbound and other weight-loss drugs, some of which have seen intermittent shortages during the last year. 

Amazon Pharmacy offers two-day deliveries to those with an Amazon Prime membership, with the service applicable for those using LillyDirect. The retailer launched its pharmacy in 2020 after acquiring online pharmacy PillPack in 2018 in a move that upended the drug delivery business.

Despite the growing demand for drugs like Zepbound and Novo Nordisk's Ozempic and Wegovy, scientists continue to investigate their potential long-term health issues or side effects. In January, for example, the Food and Drug Administration disclosed that the agency is investigating reports of alopecia, a hair loss condition, and aspiration, a complication during surgery when people inhale food or other objects into their airway, linked to the drugs.

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