The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that there is currently a shortage of Wegovy. Finding a pharmacy that can fill a Wegovy prescription may be difficult. Healthcare professionals may recommend an alternative GLP-1 medication that works similarly, such as Ozempic or Zepbound.
It is also important to avoid pharmacies that offer compounded versions of Wegovy. Compounded Wegovy contains different forms of semaglutide, the medication’s active ingredient. However, the FDA has received reports of people using compounded semaglutide experiencing adverse effects due to pharmacies using a different type of semaglutide.
A 2021 study of adults with overweight or obesity found that participants who took semaglutide lost a mean average of 14.9% of their body weight over 68 weeks. Study participants reported being able to move around more easily, and lab work found that they had lower cardiometabolic risk factors than before.
However, people must also follow a healthy, balanced diet and regularly exercise to see results.
The cost of Wegovy can vary widely depending on insurance coverage and which pharmacy a person chooses. According to Optum Perks, a free price and coupon search engine, Wegovy can cost $1,300–$1,400 per dose.
How to save on Wegovy
At the time of publishing, generic semaglutide is not available for purchase. Companies can only sell a generic version after the brand-name drug has been on the market for a set period, often only once its patent expires.
However, insurance may reduce the cost of this drug. People can contact their insurance company to see whether it offers coverage for this medication.
Individuals may also wish to use Wegovy’s savings card. It allows people with commercial insurance to save up to a maximum of $225 per 28-day supply of Wegovy. People without insurance can save up to $500 for the same period.
The company states that it is also suitable for children 12 years or older with a BMI in the 95th percentile.
People can discuss their eligibility with a healthcare professional in an initial consultation. If they receive a prescription, eating a nutritious, balanced diet and exercising regularly is necessary to maintain results.
It is important to note that Wegovy does not change the body’s anatomy like weight loss surgery. If people stop using Wegovy and practice eating and exercise habits that do not help them maintain a moderate weight, they may put back on any lost weight.
A 2022 study found that participants had regained two-thirds of the weight they had lost one year after stopping Wegovy.
Medicare does not cover anti-obesity medications such as Wegovy. However, Medicare may cover all or part of gym subscriptions and counseling costs.
Individual insurance policies may differ. Many telehealth companies offer to work with insurance companies to ensure coverage. An individual will need to contact their insurance company to find out whether it will cover the cost of Wegovy.
There are two ways to get a prescription for Wegovy: online or in person.
In-person prescriptions require an appointment with a healthcare professional in a doctor’s surgery or clinic. During a consultation, they will take a history and physical examination and may order lab tests before writing a prescription.
Getting Wegovy online often involves signing up for a weight loss program with telehealth services. People will connect with a healthcare professional who will ask the same questions and order similar lab tests to in-person doctors. Some online services may offer other weight loss support as part of a person’s membership.
According to Wegovy’s manufacturer, NovoCare, people must meet the following requirements to qualify for Wegovy:
adults with a BMI of 30 or over
adults with a BMI of 27 or over with a weight-related health condition, such as type 2 diabetes
children age 12 or over with a BMI in the 95th percentile for their age and sex
The cost of Wegovy will vary depending on the pharmacy a person uses and their insurance coverage.
According to NovoCare, Wegovy’s manufacturer, people with private or commercial insurance can pay as little as $0 per 28-day supply of the medication.
People without insurance can expect to pay $1,300–$1,400 per 28 days, according to Optum Perks.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Alli (orlistat) for weight loss in 2007. This over-the-counter medication can help people lose weight alongside a lower-calorie and lower-fat diet.
Alli is available in drug stores and online, including Amazon.
Wegovy is the only glucagon-like peptide-1 medication that has FDA approval for use in aiding weight loss. Several telehealth companies offer Wegovy injections and may also provide more holistic support.
Insurance may cover this medication, but it is always important to check before starting treatment. Prices can vary, but a single dose often costs around $1,300.
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