Weight loss drugs proven effective; costs remain high
Injectable drugs WeGovy, Ozempic and Mounjaro are commonly used for weight loss, but insurance companies aren’t covering the costs.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Anti-obesity drugs are growing in popularity across the United States. Weekly injectable medications WeGovy and Ozempic have been approved by the FDA to treat weight loss. Mounjaro, a diabetes drug like Ozempic, is on the FDA fast track to treat obesity.
“There’s always risks and benefits we have to think about with every medication. Most of the benefits by far outweigh any of the risks,” said endocrinologist, Dr. Karl Nadolsky. Nadolsky is also a Diplomate with the American Board of Obesity Medicine.
The drugs replicate a hormone found in the intestines that make users feel fuller longer. Some have suffered gastrointestinal side effects, but they often subside.
“These just have much more profound weight loss benefits. They’re also a lot more expensive,” said Nadolsky.
Many insurance companies do not view obesity as a disease that must be treated, even though it can lead to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
Without insurance, this generation of medication costs about $1,300 monthly. With insurance approval, most can be purchased for $25 monthly.
Obesity is a complex health issue, according to Dr. Nadolsky. He wants our country’s health system to take the condition more seriously.
“There’s still too many people, including doctors, personal trainers, dieticians, that say move more, eat less. That whole thing. That’s not helpful. That’s like telling people with depression to just go feel better,” said Nadolsky.
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