New Drugs for Weight Loss: What Plan Sponsors Need to Know
The latest generation of prescription drugs originally developed to help people manage their type 2 diabetes have been causing quite a stir for patients, health professionals and benefit plans, now that they’ve been approved and are being promoted to treat weight loss. Health benefit plan sponsors who are presently excluding weight-loss drugs from coverage are revisiting coverage rules because of the effectiveness and demand for these newer weight-loss drugs.
Although this class of drugs, called glucagon-like peptide-1 or GLP-1, have been around for more than 17 years, with the first one, Byetta®, approved in 2005, it is only recently that the class has made a big name for itself with the introduction of the popular once-weekly diabetic drug, Ozempic®, and the equally popular obesity drug, Wegovy® (the same drug as Ozempic but with a different dose). These are the newer GLP-1 therapies that have shown superior results to prior therapies in lowering A1C (blood sugar) levels of diabetics and helping those who are obese lose weight.