Healthcare providers in the US have reported a significant increase in prescriptions for Ozempic and other GLP-1 weight loss and diabetes drugs. According to a report by Trilliant Health, prescriptions for these drugs have increased by 300% from the start of 2020 to the end of 2022, with over 9 million prescriptions written in the final quarter of 2022 alone.
Ozempic, developed by Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk, has become a popular choice for patients with type 2 diabetes and those seeking to lose weight. Since its approval in the US, Ozempic has accounted for nearly two-thirds of GLP-1 prescriptions. Despite the high monthly costs, which can exceed $900 for uninsured users, the demand for these drugs remains strong.
Participants in studies conducted by Novo Nordisk found that a weekly injection of semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, led to an average weight loss of about 15%. This effectiveness, along with endorsements from celebrities and positive social media testimonials, has contributed to the popularity of these drugs. Analysts predict that the market for GLP-1s could reach $100 billion by 2030.
The surge in demand for these drugs has also led to significant increases in share prices for companies like Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, another producer of weight loss drugs. Additionally, Chinese pharmaceutical companies are aiming to enter the market by developing their own versions of these drugs.
Aside from the positive impact on weight loss, the use of GLP-1 drugs could potentially reduce healthcare costs in the US. Studies have shown that obesity-related healthcare accounts for over $170 billion in excess medical costs annually, and the use of these drugs could help mitigate some of these expenses.
In August, Novo Nordisk announced that Wegovy, the brand name for semaglutide used specifically for weight loss, also reduced the risk of serious events such as heart attacks and strokes by 20%.
– Trilliant Health report
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
– Novo Nordisk research studies