Hot damn, it happened! Do you remember that medication I discussed in a previous post that individuals who took it lost on average 15% of their body weight from baseline? And almost ⅓ lost 20% of their body weight from baseline after one year of treatment?!
Anyone?! Is this thing on? ‘Nervously taps microphone* No?
Ok, I will remind you! It was Ozempic or semaglutide.
What is Ozempic?
The medication currently used for managing diabetes now has the approval from the FDA to manage obesity at a max dose of 2.4mg once weekly! This is exciting news for a couple of reasons:
- The benefits of this medication were ridiculous in the STEP trials, with an average weight-loss of 15% from baseline. That is nearly equivalent to the results we see in bariatric surgeries.
- Now that the medication is approved for obesity management, it should mean that insurance companies will start providing coverage for it. This has been the ongoing struggle with these medications. Many providers do not grant coverage. Either they feel obesity is a YOU problem and you just need to put the fork down, or they felt that previous medications did not provide enough benefit to warrant coverage. Both are bullshit excuses, but what do I know.
At present, Ozempic is used at a max dose of 1 mg once weekly to manage diabetes. The FDA has now approved it at a max dose of 2.4mg once weekly. It was at this dose the benefits of weight management were realized! Now, of course, instead of keeping things simple, the drug company decided that semaglutide needed yet another name to help designate this new dose and indication. And that name is:
Yay Wegovy. I know what you are thinking. Rest assured, I have written a stern letter to their marketing team asking W.T.F. Wegovy is just a terrible name. However, we will never forget it, and once their TV commercial jingle comes out – ‘we go, we go, we go to Wegovy’ will officially be burned into the recess of our minds for eternity. That is, if you are one of those people who watches TV commercials outside of those that come out during the Superbowl. Does anyone actually use cable TV anymore?
Cost and Coverage
Anyways, this is excellent news and a step in the right direction for those individuals that are struggling with their weight and need this additional support. Now that the FDA has approved it, many other health agencies will not be far behind, in particular Health Canada. One thing to note is that the cost will be more than Ozempic as the dose is increased, and it will likely be on par with Saxenda at ~$430/month in Canada and ~$1300/month in the states. So it is certainly not affordable out of pocket for the average joe. I do know the drug company is putting extensive pressure on insurance companies to open up coverage as the cost has always been a concern for patients.
So that is the big news. I will be doing a few more videos in the future here, reviewing some other aspects of the evidence. However, if you haven’t already, check out my other blog posts for information on how Wegovy and Ozempic work, or their sibling Rybelsus, as well as how effective they are!
Until next time my friends – always remember that small tweaks lead to massive peaks!