Wegovy, an injectable prescription weight reduction medication that has helped folks with weight problems.
Michael Siluk | UCG | Getty Images
Novo Nordisk on Thursday mentioned 80% of U.S. patients with insurance coverage protection who take its extremely fashionable weight reduction therapy Wegovy are paying less than $25 a month for the drug.
The remarks recommend that many insured Americans do not must shoulder the total price of a month-to-month package deal of Wegovy, which has a list price of round $1,350. It additionally comes as many U.S. well being insurers balk on the excessive price of Wegovy and different weight problems medication whereas dropping them from their plans, at the same time as demand for these therapies soar nationwide and outpace provide.
But Doug Langa, Novo Nordisk’s vp for North America, mentioned on a third-quarter earnings name Thursday that almost all main well being plans and pharmacy profit managers are protecting Wegovy.
Langa acknowledged that some employers are opting out of protection however famous that the corporate total is seeing extra insurers decide in to cowl the weekly injection.
He estimated that about 50 million Americans with weight problems may very well be eligible for Wegovy protection underneath their well being plans.
“Directionally, we’re on the right track and our focus shall be persevering with on securing employer protection in addition to stronger entry for Americans total,” Langa mentioned in the course of the name.
However, the $25 out-of-pocket price will possible add up over time. Most patients must take Wegovy for a number of months to see — and maintain — important weight reduction.
Wegovy, for instance, results in 15% weight reduction after 68 weeks, in accordance with scientific trials on the drug.
The longer therapy length can also be one purpose why some well being insurers are hesitant to cowl Wegovy and comparable weight reduction medication, which usually work by mimicking a hormone produced within the intestine to suppress a individual’s urge for food.
At roughly $1,000 per month on common for drugs which are sometimes taken for months and even a 12 months, the medication are straining insurers’ budgets.
But Novo Nordisk is hoping that new information demonstrating the guts well being advantages of Wegovy will put extra strain on insurers to cowl the medicine and comparable weight reduction therapies.
A current late-stage trial discovered that Wegovy decreased the chance of cardiovascular occasions corresponding to coronary heart assault and stroke by 20%. The outcomes recommend that Wegovy and comparable weight problems and diabetes drugs like these in growth by Eli Lilly and others may have long-lasting well being advantages past shedding undesirable kilos.
Novo Nordisk Chief Financial Officer Karsten Munk Knudsen instructed CNBC on Thursday that Wegovy may obtain expanded approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a therapy for lowering the chance of heart problems inside six months.
More than 2 in 5 adults have weight problems, in accordance with the National Institutes of Health.
About 1 in 11 adults have extreme weight problems.
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