LillyDirect: New Home Delivery Service for Eli Lilly’s Diabetes, Weight Loss and Migraine Drugs

LillyDirect: New Home Delivery Service for Eli Lilly’s Diabetes, Weight Loss and Migraine Drugs

LillyDirect, a new online drug service from Eli Lilly, is among the first of its kind from a drugmaker that offers telehealth and pharmacy delivery services.

Eli Lilly launched LillyDirect this week, an online service that provides access to the company’s medicines, including its newly approved weight loss drug Zepbound (tirzepatide).

The website, according to the announcement from Lilly, offers an end-to-end digital healthcare experience and will provide patients access to its diabetes, weight loss and migraine medications, among others. Interestingly, the company’s blockbuster diabetes drug, Mounjaro (tirzepatide), is not available through the new digital service.

Among its services, Lilly said LillyDirect provides disease management resources that include access to independent healthcare providers, personalized support and direct delivery of select Lilly medications to homes via third-party pharmacy dispensing services.

Combining pharmacy and telehealth services, the new digital drug model connects patients with healthcare providers to provide support for patients to obtain prescribed treatments. It will also help patients access Lilly’s savings programs, specifically the company’s savings cards, designed to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients.

Zepbound’s list price is $1,059 per month but Lilly said people who are commercially insured but don’t have coverage for it could be eligible to pay almost half that amount at $550 per month.

The launch of the online service comes amidst high demand for GLP-1 weight loss drugs like Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy (semaglutide) and Lilly’s Zepbound, and their respective diabetes counterparts Ozempic (semaglutide) and Mounjaro, which can be prescribed off-label for weight loss.

Zepbound was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in November 2023.

Related: Zepbound, Obesity Version of Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro, Finally Gets FDA Nod

So far, LillyDirect provides support for 14 Lilly medicines, with 12 being different formulations and types of insulin. In addition to these and Zepbound, Lilly’s medication for migraine management, Emgality (galcanezumab), is also available through the website.

The launch of a digital drug service platform like LillyDirect is a unique strategy for a drugmaker. While weight loss service providers such as Weight Watchers and Noom have begun to offer Zepbound and Wegovy through their telehealth services, pharma companies focus on the development and manufacturing side of things and don’t typically involve themselves in home delivery of drugs or connecting patients, providers and pharmacies. However, Lilly said it recognizes the barriers and burdens of accessing drugs for many patients in the country’s current healthcare landscape.

“A complex US healthcare system adds to the burdens patients face when managing a chronic disease. With LillyDirect, our goal is to relieve some of those burdens by simplifying the patient experience to help improve outcomes,” said David A. Ricks, Lilly’s chair and CEO, in the company’s announcement. “LillyDirect offers more choices in how and where people access healthcare, including a convenient home delivery option to fill Lilly medicines they have been prescribed.”

Through LillyDirect, patients can send prescriptions to LillyDirect Pharmacy Solutions for home delivery of drugs, which are shipped free of charge. Pharmacy service providers Eversana and Truepill have already signed up to offer pharmacy services through LillyDirect, and Lilly plans to add more to the list.

LillyDirect also provides information on diseases and healthcare education to help empower patients and support them through their healthcare journey.

Additionally, patients can access independent telehealth providers via LillyDirect, offering additional support to their existing care or a remote alternative for certain healthcare needs. An independent tool is available for patients to locate and connect with healthcare professionals nearby for in-person care if they prefer.

Along with the launch of LillyDirect this week, Lilly also issued an open letter recommending that Zepbound and Mounjaro not be used for “cosmetic weight loss.”

The letter also addressed the safety risks associated with the use of compounded tirzepatide. Last year, Lilly flagged compounded versions of Mounjaro being sold at pharmacies and spas and sued several companies selling them. Since compounded drugs have “not been reviewed by the FDA or global regulatory agencies for safety, quality or efficacy, they may expose patients to potentially serious health risks,” Lilly said in the open letter.

Lilly said it was “extremely concerned” that some of the compounded tirzepatide the company had tested contained “high amounts of impurities, and, in at least one instance, was actually nothing more than sugar alcohol.”

As for LillyDirect, Lilly said it will continue to update and expand it to improve the customer experience. These updates may include new products, partners and services, such as programs to help patients with adherence to their medications.