May 26, 2024

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“Miracle Weight-Loss Drug” Sweeps Across America

“Miracle Weight-Loss Drug” Sweeps Across America: Survey Shows 1 in 8 Have Tried It



“Miracle Weight-Loss Drug” Sweeps Across America: Survey Shows 1 in 8 Have Tried It

A recent survey has revealed that 1 in 8 American adults have tried the rapidly growing class of new diabetes and anti-obesity drugs, including the so-called “miracle weight-loss drugs” Ozempic (semaglutide) from Novo Nordisk and Zepbound from Eli Lilly, highlighting the rapid spread of these treatments among adults.

According to a survey released on Friday by the renowned health research organization KFF, about half of those who have tried injecting these weight-loss drugs are still using them. The new survey was conducted at the end of April and sampled nearly 1,500 adults through online and telephone surveys in English and Spanish.

 

 

"Miracle Weight-Loss Drug" Sweeps Across America: Survey Shows 1 in 8 Have Tried It

 

Weight-loss drugs like Mounjaro and Zepbound from Eli Lilly and Ozempic and Wegovy from Novo Nordisk are penetrating the American population. In the United States, the incidence of diabetes and obesity has been steadily increasing for decades.

However, cost remains a major barrier: over half of those who have tried these weight-loss drugs said they found it difficult to afford them, even with coupons and insurance coverage.

Before discounts or rebates, the monthly cost of Ozempic is close to $1,000. According to the KFF survey, over half of those with health insurance said their insurance only covered part of the cost, while only a quarter said their insurance covered the entire cost. The non-profit organization regularly surveys Americans on various health issues.

These drugs, known as GLP-1 agonists, were initially developed to treat diabetes but also aid in weight loss for those taking them. Recently, a group of GLP-1 drugs has been explicitly approved for the treatment of obesity. Pharmaceutical companies in the healthcare industry are accelerating research into addressing other broad health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease and sleep apnea, to expand the use of these drugs and win insurance coverage.

According to research data from Bloomberg Intelligence, the market size for these weight-loss drugs is expected to reach at least $80 billion by 2030. Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs’ expectations are even more optimistic, with a forecast report showing that global annual sales of anti-obesity drugs could reach around $100 billion by 2030, compared to just $6 billion earlier in 2023. The World Obesity Federation (WOF) estimates that by 2035, over 4 billion people (more than half of the world’s population) could suffer from varying degrees of obesity.

Additionally, endorsements from world-famous figures like Musk and global media attention have also boosted the popularity of Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly’s weight-loss drugs, leading to increased demand and shortages. Some patients have turned to unapproved generic compounded drugs, but the original drug manufacturers have been trying to combat this practice.

The survey also found that about a third of American adults said they had heard a lot about GLP-1 drugs, compared to just 19% in a KFF survey in July 2023. About 40% of those taking the drugs said they primarily did so for weight loss.

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65 and older or with disabilities, currently does not include coverage for drugs specifically used for weight loss. The survey found that only 1% of those over 65 said they were using GLP-1 drugs for weight loss. In surveys across all parties, the majority support federal health insurance covering the cost of weight-loss treatments.

Another independent study by KFF in April found that the approval of Wegovy for heart disease could expand insurance coverage for up to 3.6 million people. However, the monthly out-of-pocket cost could still reach $430, which is quite expensive for many people enrolled in federal insurance programs.

“Miracle Weight-Loss Drug” Sweeps Across America: Survey Shows 1 in 8 Have Tried It

(source:internet, reference only)


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