Wegovy, shmegovy. That’s the message from many corporate executives who have lately been peppered with questions about how Wegovy, Ozempic and other drugs widely used for weight loss may impact their bottom line.
On earnings calls in recent weeks, companies ranging from beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev
to medical-device maker Abbott Laboratories
have faced a chorus of analysts intent on tracking every investment implication of the obesity and diabetes medications categorized as GLP-1s — and in many cases, those companies have tried to shrug off the notion that the drugs will pinch their profits. At Anheuser-Busch, “we don’t see any impact so far in the business,” said CEO Michel Doukeris on the company’s late October call with analysts. What’s more, he said, “we are not in the indulgence business,” noting that the company has an “incredible range” of low-calorie, low-carb and nonalcoholic options. One company even opened its earnings call by asking analysts to please shut up already about the GLP-1s. “I’m aware that there is with GLP-1s one dominant topic in healthcare research overall,” Dominik Heger, head of investor relations at dialysis company Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co.
said near the start of the company’s call. “But we would appreciate if we could focus in this call on the quarterly business developments.” The plea didn’t work: Analysts asked about GLP-1s anyway. While the questions pile up, drugmakers Eli Lilly & Co.
and AstraZeneca PLC