You can't argue with success, unless you are an insurance company faced with covering medications shown to improve obesity.

The ability of drugs originally designed for diabetes management to reduce body weight has spiked demand and taxed supplies, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which included semaglutide (both Wegovy and Ozempic) on its Drug Shortages List as of May 31, 2023.

Meanwhile, clinicians and patients report that insurance companies are pushing back against coverage of these medications that mimic glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) because of the costs. A recent study conducted by Prime Therapeutics, a pharmacy benefit management organization, showed that individuals who started GLP-1 drugs for weight loss and who were adherent to the treatment averaged a 59% increase in healthcare costs after 1 year; for those in a subgroup analysis who were treatment adherent, the increase in healthcare costs was 98%. 

Read more