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Novo Nordisk says Wegovy wins China approval

STORY: China has approved the sale of popular weight-loss drug Wegovy.

That's according to Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk on Tuesday.

In March, Novo said it would initially focus on patients paying out-of-pocket for the weekly injectable drug once approved in the country.

The company did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on its launch plan.

It also didn't elaborate on costs and expected supplies of the weight-loss treatment in China.

The latest approval comes at a key point for Novo in the Chinese market.

Its patent there on active ingredient semaglutide will expire in less than two years.

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Local drugmakers have also raced to develop generic versions, and Novo faces competition from U.S. rival Eli Lilly.

Novo has grown massively in recent years to become Europe's most valuable company.

Another of its drugs, Ozempic, won approval from Beijing three years ago.

Novo saw sales of the product in the greater China region double to $698 million last year.