In a strategic leap into the booming weight-loss drug market, Eli Lilly and Co has unveiled LillyDirect, a user-friendly website allowing direct orders for its potent weight-loss medicine, Zepbound. The move comes amidst extraordinary demand for weight-loss drugs, with Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy witnessing significant traction.

LillyDirect not only simplifies the ordering process for Zepbound but also serves as a hub connecting individuals dealing with obesity and related conditions to telehealth companies. This innovative service aligns with the evolving landscape in the obesity drug market, projected to reach $100 billion by the end of the decade.

The platform, however, triggered a double-digit slump in shares of WW International, previously WeightWatchers, reflecting the competitive ripples caused by Lilly’s entry into the direct-to-consumer space.

Beyond Zepbound, LillyDirect extends its services to patients dealing with diabetes and migraines, offering home delivery for products such as Emgality and insulin. The website acts as a bridge to independent telehealth providers, offering an alternative to in-person care for specific conditions and supplementing existing medical teams.

Evan Siegerman, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, applauds Lilly’s move as “ahead of the curve,” asserting that the direct-to-consumer model is particularly well-suited for obesity medications. The company’s shares responded positively, reaching a record high of $631.18 in early trading.

The optimism surrounding Lilly’s Zepbound, launched just last month, contributed to a remarkable 59% surge in the company’s shares in the past year, solidifying its position as the largest healthcare firm by market capitalization. Lilly’s foray into direct-to-consumer services not only reflects the shifting dynamics of the pharmaceutical industry but also positions the company at the forefront of meeting evolving consumer needs in the health and wellness space.