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Zepbound Wegovy Ozempic

Can Zepbound Outperform Wegovy and Ozempic in a Battle?

According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, approximately 75% of Americans are familiar with Ozempic, Wegovy, and other anti-obesity medications. The demand for weight loss drugs has skyrocketed, leading to shortages in supply. Semaglutide, the active ingredient in these medications, is currently listed as “in shortage” in the FDA database. However, the cost of these medications can be a significant barrier for many individuals, with prices exceeding $1,000 per month for out-of-pocket payments.

Zepbound, a newer weight loss drug on the market, could shake things up. Surpassing the effectiveness of the widely used drug Wegovy while also reducing the cost of various weight loss medications. Wegovy and Zepbound have received specific approval for the treatment of obesity. In contrast, Ozempic and Mounjaro are approved for treating individuals with Type 2 diabetes and can aid in weight loss.

Zepbound, Wegovy and Ozempic comparison chart
Zepbound, Wegovy, Mounjaro, and Ozempic comparison chart

What is Zepbound?

Zepbound is the newest weight loss medication developed by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. Zepbound is the brand name for tirzepatide belonging to a class of drugs known as dual GIP/GLP-1 receptor co-agonists, which are used to treat type 2 diabetes. Zepbound works by mimicking two hormones, GLP-1 and GIP, which help regulate blood sugar levels in the body by stimulating the release of insulin and reducing the production of glucose in the liver.

How do weight loss injections work

The Costs of Weight Loss Drugs in 2024

Ozempic costs around $1,029 a month for a 1.5-milliliter supply, but Ozempic only mimics 1 hunger hormone whereas Zepbound mimics 2 hunger hormones. Ozempic costs Americans $12,348 a year, while Mounjaro costs even more at $1,069 monthly for four filled pens. The high price of Mounjaro will cost Americans $12,828 a year.

Wegovy costs $1,350 a month, while Zepbound is about 20% cheaper than Wegovy but still has a price tag of about $1,060 monthly. The cost of one year’s supply of Zepbound is $12,718; this is about $3,470 less than the cost of one year’s supply of Wegovy. The high cost of weight loss drugs like Zepbound, Wegovy, and Ozempic poses a significant challenge for patients. The pricey medications are often not covered by insurance, and even for those who can, an extreme shortage has limited access to them.

When people are unable to continue taking these drugs, they often experience rebound weight gain that is difficult to control. Studies have shown that most people regain weight within a year of stopping the medication.

Personal Stories: The Impact of Weight Loss Drug Costs

A Naperville woman named Artemis Bayandor gained weight after stopping Wegovy due to the medication’s increased cost. She started using Wegovy to lose post-pregnancy weight and successfully lost 15 pounds over six months. However, when her manufacturer’s coupons expired, and insurance didn’t cover it, she had to stop taking the medication. Bayandor received a call from the pharmacy informing him that the price had been raised after paying $25 with coupons for six months. Bayandor said. “Now the price has gone up to like it’s $1,300.”

Yolanda Hamilton, a resident of South Holland, Illinois, was prescribed the medication to address her elevated BMI, high blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar. With Wegovy, she lost 60 pounds and felt a significant improvement in her overall well-being. However, when she changed her insurance plan from Aetna to Blue Cross and Blue Shield, they did not cover the drug. In just a few months, she gained 20 pounds. The financial burden of these medications can be devastating, especially for individuals with low incomes who experience obesity at higher rates. The lack of access to affordable weight loss medications exacerbates existing health inequities. Individuals with low incomes, particularly Black and Hispanic adults, experience obesity at disproportionately higher rates. The inability to access these medications further perpetuates health disparities.

Will my health insurance cover Ozempic, Wegovy, and Zepbound?

Insurance coverage for weight loss drugs like Zepbound, Wegovy, and Ozempic varies significantly. Medicare, for example, does not cover these medications, and many private insurers follow Medicare’s lead.

Will my health insurance policy cover Zepbound?

The weight-loss medication Zepbound is so new that many health insurance policies don’t cover it. In late 2023, the FDA gave it its approval.

Why doesn’t Medicare Cover Weight Loss Drugs?

Due to previous safety issues, Medicare is prohibited by law from providing coverage for weight loss medication. Specifically, the combination of fenfluramine and phentermine known as fen-phen, which was widely publicized as a “miracle” drug for its ability to induce rapid weight loss, was found to cause heart valve damage. As a result, fen-phen was removed from the market in 1997. Consequently, the federal government implemented a policy disallowing Medicare from covering drugs that are deemed to have risks that outweigh their cosmetic benefits.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield cover Zepbound?

Blue Cross Blue Shield may cover the Zepbound weight loss medicine, while the exact coverage amount may differ according to your individual insurance plan. It is essential to check your insurance policy or contact your provider.
If your plan covers Zepbound, these are the requirements that you need to fulfill.

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Body mass index(BMI) of 30 or higher
  • BMI of 27 or higher with at least one weight-related comorbid condition, such as impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, or obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Required to complete a prior authorization form for Zepbound.
  • Required to have actively engaged in a diet and exercise program for at least six months in order to qualify for Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The Rebound Weight Gain Challenge

One of the significant challenges with weight loss drugs is the rebound weight gain that occurs when individuals stop taking the medication. Wegovy’s active ingredient, semaglutide, is a GLP-1 hormone that mimics the natural satiety hormone in our bodies. When individuals stop taking the drug, they often experience increased hunger and cravings for sweets. This can lead to a loss of energy and an inability to maintain the weight loss achieved while on the medication.

MOUNJARO BEFORE & AFTER WEIGHT LOSS

How Can I Lose Weight Without Ozempic?

Many have raised the question of getting to the root of the problem instead of taking weight loss medication for the rest of their lives. The great news is that there is an alternative. Bariatric surgery is an effective alternative to lifelong weight loss medication. By modifying the digestive system, it helps individuals struggling with obesity achieve significant and sustainable weight loss by reducing food intake. Millions have turned to this procedure globally for its success in addressing underlying causes like overeating and poor diet choices.

Bariatric surgery is widely considered the best option for weight loss. It not only helps patients lose weight significantly but also improves overall health. Weight loss surgery reduces obesity-related conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. Additionally, it enhances quality of life, mobility, and psychological well-being. Not only does it provide a long-lasting solution to weight loss, but it can also save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

GASTRIC SLEEVE BEFORE & AFTER WEIGHT LOSS

How Much is Bariatric Surgery?

The average cost of bariatric surgery in the United States is a one-time payment of $17,000 to $26,000. Insurance plans like Medicare and Medicaid cover bariatric for those who meet the requirements. If you are searching for a less expensive option that is more reasonably priced in Mexico, you can expect to pay a one-time payment of $4,500 to $6,000. In Turkey, the average cost for weight loss surgery is $5,000 to $12,000.

One of the main reasons why bariatric surgery abroad can be more affordable is the difference in healthcare costs between countries. Countries like Mexico and Turkey have lower healthcare costs than America, allowing for more affordable bariatric surgery options. With approximately 70% of Americans classified as overweight or obese, the need for effective and accessible weight loss treatments is paramount. Medical tourism companies and facilities abroad often offer all-inclusive packages that cover the cost of the surgery, hospital stay, and post-operative care. This can further reduce the overall expense of the procedure.

While affordability is a significant factor, it’s important to note that the cost savings do not come at the expense of quality care. Many hospitals and clinics abroad that specialize in bariatric surgery are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and staffed by highly skilled surgeons. These medical professionals are often trained in renowned institutions and have extensive experience in performing weight loss surgeries. By choosing to go abroad for bariatric surgery, you can benefit from access to quality care while enjoying substantial cost savings.

The Urgent Need for Interventions

The urgency to combat obesity stems from the significant health risks associated with the condition. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and obesity and weight-related conditions are major risk factors. While exercise and diet remain crucial strategies for weight management, the prevalence of obesity necessitates additional interventions. Over 73% of Americans are classified as overweight or obese, so the need for effective and accessible weight loss treatments is paramount.

The Future of Weight Loss Medications

The development of weight loss drugs like Zepbound, Wegovy, and Ozempic represents a significant advancement in treating obesity and weight-related conditions. While affordability and insurance coverage remain significant challenges, there is increasing recognition of the need to address these issues. The safety of using weight loss injections over an extended period of time has not been thoroughly studied. The ingredients in these injections are generally safe in appropriate doses, but there is very limited research on potential side effects and risks with prolonged use. However, relying solely on injections may discourage healthy lifestyle changes necessary for long-term weight management. There is also a risk of dependency with long-term use.

According to a recent study, people who are using injectable medications for weight loss, such as Wegovy, Ozempic, Saxenda, and Victoza, might face an increased likelihood of experiencing severe digestive issues like stomach paralysis, pancreatitis, bowel obstructions, and nutritional imbalances or deficiencies.

How did you overcome the costs of weight loss medications? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

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