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Anti-obesity Drugs Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Prescription Drugs and OTC Drugs), By Distribution Channel (Hospital Pharmacy, Retail Pharmacy, and Online Pharmacy), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI104783



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The global anti-obesity drugs market size was USD 1,520.2 million in 2019. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with anti-obesity pharma witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global anti-obesity pharma market will exhibit a stellar growth of 14.6% in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 1,742.5 million in 2020 to USD 3,421.0 million in 2027 at a CAGR of 10.1% in the 2020-2027 period. The sudden decrease in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

According to the World Obesity Federation, the global cost related to obesity is expected to increase by over 50% by the end of 2025 that is approximately USD 1.2 trillion. Therefore, developing mitigating measures to decrease the burden and reduce the obese population is currently the primary aim of pharmaceutical companies. In addition, increasing patient population and low treatment rates are set to provide enormous market opportunities for emerging players. Also, the launch of obesity education programs and developing reimbursement policies are likely to drive the product demand in the forecast period.

COVID-19 Pandemic to Affect Growth Positively Stoked by Adoption of Sedentary Lifestyle

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on the global anti-obesity drugs market due to a surge in the sales of approved drugs concerning the COVID-19 emergency. In addition, pharmaceutical companies are significantly focused on maintaining the balance between supply and demand amid the pandemic, keeping their sales intact. Health organizations have issued necessary guidelines and recommendations for the management of overweight/obese patients in the COVID-19 era as these have a greater risk of contracting the disease. Moreover, the implementation of stringent lockdown measures worldwide has resulted in a sedentary lifestyle and work-from-home scenario leading to weight gain. This is anticipated to have a greater impact on the sales of obesity medications during the pandemic.


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 Growing Collaborations among Companies to Improve Market Potential

As the obesity market presents multiple opportunities, companies are aiming to increase their strategic collaborations and acquisitions to improve the market potential. For example, in September 2019, Currax Pharmaceutical announced the acquisition of Nalpropion Pharmaceuticals. This acquisition led to the addition of Contrave anti-obesity medication in Currax’s product portfolio. Also, in November 2019, Novo Nordisk joined hands with UNICEF to help prevent children from obesity. These partnerships between market players to ensure appropriate weight management and help reduce disease burden are expected to drive the market growth.


Increasing Prevalence of Obesity among Populations to Propel Product Demand

The rapidly increasing population suffering from obesity has led to rising concerns regarding its effective management. For instance, according to the World Obesity Federation, currently, there are 650 million adults and 120 million children dealing with obesity. Moreover, around 2 trillion U.S dollars are spent annually on obesity management. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the prevalence of obesity at around 42.5% in adults aged 20 and over in the U.S. The growing awareness among patients in emerging nations about the timely management of weight gain is anticipated to increase the demand for anti-obesity drugs and help proliferate its growth during 2020-2027.

Robust Drug Pipeline to Aid Growth Worldwide

The increasing adoption of a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet plans along with the lack of exercise and consumption of alcohol has led to the growing bodyweight viz., body fat. Furthermore, the increasing prevalence of obesity-related disorders, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, has raised concerns regarding the consequences of excess body weight. This is driving the pharmaceutical companies to invest in R&D for the anti-obesity drug launch. Companies, such as Novo Nordisk, Pfizer Inc., and others, have significantly invested in the development of drugs that may help reduce the disease burden. For instance, Novo Nordisk, a market leader, has seven pipeline candidates indicated against obesity, which are in various stages of development. Therefore, a strong drug pipeline is expected to provide lucrative growth opportunities in the forecast period.


Low Treatment Rate against the Disorder to Restrict Market Growth

Although globally there is a rise in the obesity population, the lack of proper education against weight management and false mindsets of people are the two factors responsible for the lower treatment rate of the disorder. According to the IQVIA, only 2% of the total obese population is treated with prescription medications. This is majorly responsible for the lower adoption of drugs and therefore, would slower market growth. Additionally, the presence of a limited number of key players in the market focusing on obesity drug development, coupled with the side-effects pertaining to these drugs is another factor limiting the growth.


By Type Analysis

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Prescription Drugs Segment to Gain High Share Backed by Rising Consumption of Fast Food

Based on the type, the global anti-obesity drugs market is classified as prescription drugs and OTC drugs. The prescription drugs segment accounted for the majority of the market share in 2019. The availability of therapeutically effective weight management drugs, which are centrally acting or peripherally acting, is majorly responsible for the dominance of the segment. Moreover, the increased prevalence of obesity cases among the population owing to the high consumption of fast food, alcohol, and the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle is another factor contributing to the product demand. For instance, according to the World Obesity Federation, currently, there are 650 million people living with obesity.

On the other hand, over-the-counter drugs are slowly taking a roll in the market owing to the patent expiration of the branded drugs. However, the segment has a lower market share due to the lack of awareness among the population about the need for weight loss management. 

By Distribution Channel Analysis

Hospitals Segment to Hold Highest Share Fueled by Increasing Patient Visits

In terms of the distribution channel, the global anti-obesity pharma market is segmented into hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and online pharmacies. The hospital pharmacy segment holds the largest share globally due to the increased patient visits and sales of prescription-based drugs for weight loss. In addition, the high preference for patients to buy products from nearby pharmacies on a regular basis owing to the availability of lost-cost drugs is responsible for the growth of the retail pharmacy segment. The online pharmacy segment is estimated to grow substantially owing to the development of online platforms for the delivery of prescriptions, as well as OTC drugs to the patients.


North America Anti-obesity Drugs Market Size 2019 (USD Million)

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The market size in North America stood at USD 964.8 million in 2019. The dominance of this region is attributable to the presence of strong players in the U.S. and the increasing adoption of obesity management products. Another major factor contributing to the anti-obesity drugs market growth of the region is increasing investments in research and development activities by key players to launch effective drugs.

Europe holds the second position in the market owing to its investments in R&D for the development of therapeutically effective drugs. This, along with the increasing awareness among the population about the benefits of weight loss, is expected to drive growth during the forecast period. Moreover, Asia Pacific is anticipated to showcase a high CAGR due to the growing number of clinical studies about obesity management and the region's rising prevalence of obesity-related conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

On the other hand, Latin America and the Middle East & Africa are likely to exhibit comparatively slower growth due to the lack of awareness among the population, as well as the lower demand for anti-obesity drugs in the respective regions.

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Significant R&D Investments by Key Players to Improve Their Business Outcomes

The market is consolidated owing to the presence of limited market players focusing on obesity management. Currently, Novo Nordisk is dominating the market and holds a larger share. The company’s dominance is attributable to the strong sales of anti-obesity drug ‘Saxenda.’ coupled with its innovative pipeline and market development activities to expand its obesity product portfolio. Moreover, companies such as Vivus Pharmaceuticals and Currax Pharmaceuticals LLC are focused on improving marketing and distribution strategies to increase product sales. Additionally, the emergence of new market players during the forecast period and multiple product approvals are anticipated to broaden the scope of the global market. For instance, multiple pipeline products are expected to be launched by 2024, giving a strong competitive landscape to the existing products.


  • Novo Nordisk (Denmark, Scandinavia)

  • GlaxoSmithKline (Brentford, U.K)

  • Vivus Pharmaceuticals (California U.S)

  • Currax Pharmaceuticals LLC (New Jersey, U.S)

  • Pfizer Inc. (New York, U.S)

  • F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd (Basel, Switzerland)

  • Other Players


  • December 2019 – Gelesis and Ro., a leading U.S telehealth provider, entered into a partnership agreement with an aim to offer high-quality remote care to patients seeking weight management counselling and a prescription for drug Plenity.

  • February 2019 – Eisai Inc. announced that the U.S Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) accepted the supplemental new drug application to update the labelling of anti-obesity drug BELVIQ. 


An Infographic Representation of Anti-obesity Drugs Market

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The market research report presents a comprehensive assessment of the global anti-obesity drugs market by offering valuable insights, facts, industry-related information, and historical data. Several methodologies and approaches are adopted to make meaningful assumptions and views. Furthermore, the report also offers a detailed analysis and information as per market segments, helping our readers to get a comprehensive overview of the global market. 

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Million)


  Type; Distribution Channel; and Region

By Type


  • Prescription Drugs

  • OTC Drugs

By Distribution Channel


  • Hospital Pharmacy

  • Retail Pharmacy

  • Online Pharmacy

By Geography


  • North America

    • USA (By Type)

    • Canada (By Type)

  • Europe

    • UK (By Type)

    • Germany (By Type)

    • France (By Type)

    • Italy (By Type)

    • Spain (By Type)

    • Scandinavia (By Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific

    • Japan (By Type)

    • China (By Type)

    • India (By Type)

    • Australia (By Type)

    • Southeast Asia (By Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)

  • Latin America

    • Brazil (By Type)

    • Mexico (By Type)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Type)

  • Middle East & Africa

    • GCC (By Type)

    • South Africa (By Type)

    • Rest of MEA (By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 1,520.2 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 3,421.0 million by 2027.

In 2019, the North American market size stood at USD 964.8 million.

Registering a CAGR of 10.1%, the market will exhibit moderate growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

The prescription drugs segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.

The increasing prevalence of obesity-related comorbidities and the entrance of low-cost OTC drugs are some of the major factors driving the growth of the market.

Novo Nordisk, GlaxoSmithKline, and Vivus Pharmaceuticals are the major players in the global market.

North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2019.

The rising awareness among the population about the side-effects of weight gain and consumption of unhealthy food are expected to drive the adoption of anti-obesity drugs in the global market.

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