Weight Loss Drugs Could Reshape Industries Beyond Health Care

From deep-fried turkey to pumpkin pie, the holidays are a time to indulge. But a new category of weight loss drugs is designed to curb appetites and thereby prevent a multitude of health problems associated with obesity.

At the same time, these drugs — sold under the brand names Ozempic, Wegovy, Zepbound and others — are raising questions for the food industry and companies that rely on cravings to sell their products.

“Executives in nearly every industry are being asked about the impacts of these weight loss drugs on their businesses,” says Michael Beckwith, portfolio manager for AMCAP Fund® and The New Economy Fund®. While concerns are valid, “some of these conclusions are more fanciful than logical.”

Nevertheless, with estimated potential annual sales of $100 billion, this is a category of drugs that must be considered when making investment decisions, says Greg Wendt, portfolio manager for SMALLCAP World Fund® and AMCAP Fund®. “I’m keeping an open mind — there are more questions than answers right now, but could this be an innovation as significant as the creation of the mobile phone? Possibly.”

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