Weight Loss Drugs

by Jessica Hawkins

July 28, 2023

The popularity of weight loss drugs, such as Wegovy, has reached an all-time high, leading to more individuals asking about these medications. As a result, employers are being faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to cover these expensive medications.

There is a range in cost for these medications, running from $300 to $1,600 per month, as well as a variance in effectiveness. When the drugs are paired with healthier lifestyle choices, long-term outcomes are more likely. However, some of these medications haven’t been on the market long enough for concrete outcomes and any potential side effects to be observed. There are concerns about whether or not the medications will lead to long-term weight loss and whether or not the medications will need to be taken for an indefinite period of time.

Meeting employee desires while mitigating Rx spend can be challenging. We are seeing more and more insurers and Pharmacy Benefit Managers cracking down on prescribing practices for these medications. Physicians should be accounting for age, body fat, satiety differences, individual medical factors and psychosocial factors when determining which medication will best support their patient’s health care needs. In addition, restricting access to individuals who need the medications the most will alleviate shortages and ensure they are able to access them.

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