Eli Lilly goes after 11 online pharmacies for allegedly selling unauthorized versions of Mounjaro

In September, Eli Lilly filed lawsuits against eight companies in the U.S. that it claims are producing or selling compounded versions of its blockbuster diabetes drug Mounjaro.

Now, a month later, Lilly is going after 11 online pharmacies—including several overseas—that the company believes are importing, selling or distributing unauthorized versions of the treatment.

In a complaint filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission, Lilly has named three companies in China, three in Europe and five in the U.S. that claim their products contain tirzepatide, the active ingredient in Mounjaro. The companies are actually selling “low-grade” versions of the drug, Lilly said (PDF) in the filing.

“The FDA does not review the products these companies are importing or distributing for safety, quality, or efficacy—nor does any other global regulatory agency,” Lilly said in a statement. “Testing shows that at least one of the companies purporting to sell tirzepatide was actually selling nothing more than sugar alcohol.”

In addition to accusing all 11 companies of false and misleading advertising, Lilly has cited seven for trademark infringement and seven for “false designation of source" by implying an association with Lilly that does not exist.

Last week, the FDA warned two U.S. online pharmacies—Gorilla Healing and Semaspace—to stop selling unauthorized versions of Mounjaro and Novo Nordisk’s rival drugs Ozempic and Wegovy. The companies, according to the regulator, were selling the products without prescriptions.

As demand has increased for the GLP-1 diabetes and weight loss drugs, sales have skyrocketed. In the second quarter, Novo (32%) and Lilly (28%) posted the largest year-over-year revenue increases in the industry. During the period, Novo’s GLP-1 trio of Ozempic, Wegovy and Saxenda reached sales of $4.8 billion. Meanwhile, Mounjaro’s sales hit $980 million in the quarter.