The popular weight-loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy may be available in pill form by as soon as the end of this year. Manufacturers are racing to be the first to market with an oral version of the newest class of weight-loss drugs that already have earned billions in profits as injectables.

“The nice thing about tablets is that virtually everyone is used to taking a tablet for something, even if it’s just a vitamin,” said Dr. Robert Gabbay, chief scientist for the American Diabetes Association. “It’s not a big deal.”

Novo Nordisk presented research findings on the oral version of semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic and Wegovy, during the association’s recent scientific sessions. People who are obese or overweight and do not have Type 2 diabetes lost an average of 15% of their body weight after 68 weeks. The results were similar to those from weekly injections over the same time period. “It really is a gamechanger,” Gabbay said.

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