Eli Lilly reaches settlement with spa selling Mounjaro, Zepbound knockoffs

By Thomson Reuters May 14, 2024 | 5:00 PM

(Reuters) – Eli Lilly has entered into a settlement deal with a medi spa that had sold counterfeit versions of its popular diabetes drug Mounjaro and weight loss treatment Zepbound, the drugmaker said on Tuesday.

As part of the deal, Totality Medispa will make a monetary payment to Lilly and will no longer use Lilly branding in the promotion of any of its products.

The medi spa is expected to take several corrective actions including obtaining and distributing compounded tirzepatide products that are produced in compliance with U.S. federal law.


Lilly and Novo Nordisk have sued several medi spas and compounding pharmacies to stop them from selling products claiming to contain the active ingredients (semaglutide and tirzepatide) used in the drugmakers’ popular weight-loss drugs.


Novo last year sued one compounding pharmacy and refiled a lawsuit against another after finding their products claiming to contain the active ingredient for its in-demand weight-loss drug Wegovy were impure, some by as much as 33%.

Lilly said in March it had found bacteria and high levels of impurities in products claiming to be compounded versions of tirzepatide and has sued several medical spas, weight-loss clinics and compounding pharmacies to stop them from selling products purporting to contain tirzepatide, the active ingredient in its weight loss and diabetes drugs.

Compounded drugs are custom-made medicines based on the same ingredients as branded versions, and often cheaper, but also subject to less regulatory scrutiny.


“While this agreement is an important step forward, this is not a problem that Lilly can solve alone. We strongly support state and federal regulators taking action to deter and punish compounding pharmacies, counterfeiters, and others who put patients at risk by selling unsafe products claiming to be tirzepatide,” Lilly said in its statement.

(Reporting by Sneha S K; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)