The Waning Popularity of Weight-Loss Drugs Wegovy and Ozempic

Only one in four U.S. patients prescribed Wegovy or Ozempic for weight loss were still using them after two years, according to a new analysis. The decline in usage raises questions about the long-term efficacy and cost-effectiveness of these expensive medications, sparking debates among healthcare professionals and officials.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 10-07-2024 15:37 IST | Created: 10-07-2024 15:37 IST
The Waning Popularity of Weight-Loss Drugs Wegovy and Ozempic
AI Generated Representative Image

Only one in four U.S. patients prescribed Novo Nordisk's Wegovy or Ozempic for weight loss were still taking the popular medications two years later, according to an analysis of U.S. pharmacy claims provided to Reuters that also showed a steady decline in use over time.

The analysis does not include details about why patients quit but offers a longer view of their real-world experiences than previous research. Evidence that many people may stop using these weight-loss therapies shortly after starting is influencing the debate over their cost to patients, employers, and government health plans.

Wegovy and similar medicines, part of the GLP-1 receptor agonists class, can cost over $1,000 per month and may require long-term use for meaningful benefits. The high prices have drawn criticism from President Joe Biden and other officials, who warn that these drugs could cost the U.S. $411 billion annually if widely adopted. Healthcare providers like Prime Therapeutics and Magellan Rx Management have studied the persistent use of these drugs, revealing that only 15% of patients remained on their medication after two years.

(Disclaimer: With inputs from agencies.)

Give Feedback