How to get Wegovy for weight loss

Introducing our new program: Mayo Clinic Diet for Weight-Loss Medications.

Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of individuals with type 2 diabetes, as well as for weight loss in adults.

Unfortunately, there have been some significant and ongoing shortages of semaglutide, sold under the brand names Wegovy, Ozempic, and Rybelsus. This is partly due to their surge in popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness for both diabetes management and weight loss.

How does semaglutide work?

Semaglutide works by mimicking the natural hormone GLP-1, which regulates appetite, food intake, and blood sugar levels.

For individuals with type 2 diabetes, semaglutide has been shown to effectively manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. It is considered a GLP-1 medication that is FDA-approved for this purpose.

When it comes to weight loss, semaglutide, sold under the brand name Wegovy, has been shown to be highly effective. In clinical trials, individuals taking Wegovy for weight loss have experienced significant reductions in body weight, often exceeding 10% of their starting weight. This makes it a valuable weight-loss drug for those struggling with obesity.

Why are there shortages in Wegovy? 

A key issue surrounding the Wegovy shortages is due to an increased demand. As the medication gained traction, demand skyrocketed, particularly after it was approved for chronic weight management. This sudden spike in demand outpaced the manufacturer's ability to ramp up production to meet the rising needs.

Since Wegovy is a complex biologic medication that requires specialized manufacturing processes, the manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, has faced difficulties in scaling up production to keep pace with the soaring demand. Additionally, supply chain disruptions, such as those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, have further exacerbated the manufacturing challenges.

The Wegovy shortages have been an ongoing challenge, causing significant disruptions in the availability of the medication for patients who rely on it for diabetes management and weight loss. Novo Nordisk, healthcare providers, and regulatory authorities are actively working to address the supply issues and ensure more consistent access to Wegovy for the patients who need it.

Who qualifies for Wegovy?

To get Wegovy prescribed, individuals typically need to meet certain criteria for obesity or overweight.   

For individuals without a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, the criteria to be prescribed Wegovy for weight loss are as follows: 

Body Mass Index (BMI) Criteria: 

  • BMI of 30 or higher (considered obese)
  • BMI of 27 or higher (considered overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or sleep apnea. 

The healthcare provider will typically assess the patient's BMI, medical history, and any existing weight-related conditions to determine if Wegovy is an appropriate treatment option. 

Who shouldn’t take Wegovy? 

It's important to note that there are certain individuals who should not take semaglutide. For example, Wegovy is generally not recommended for use if you're pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or lactating.  

It's crucial that you work closely with your healthcare provider to discuss your medical history, current health status, and treatment goals. Your provider will then determine if Wegovy is the most appropriate medication and ensure that you meet the necessary criteria for a prescription. You should inform your healthcare provider about any pre-existing conditions or concerns you may have before starting this medication. 

Is Wegovy covered by health insurance?

It is important to be aware that the specific insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs for Wegovy may vary. It is recommended to check with your insurance provider to understand the details of your coverage and any potential costs associated with the medication. 

At this stage, the medication is typically covered by less than 50% of insurance plans and not typically for weight loss. As far as Medicare and Medicaid coverage goes, Wegovy may only be covered if your condition includes cardiovascular disease. 

Once Wegovy is prescribed, you can typically obtain the medication from your local pharmacy. The cost of Wegovy can vary depending on your insurance coverage, plan, and medical condition. 

The price for the medication without insurance coverage can be as high as $1,350 and the price under Medicare is complicated and changing. 

Already taking GLP-1s? Discover our companion to weight-loss medications from the experts at Mayo Clinic.

Does Wegovy have any side effects?

Wegovy, like any medication, can have side effects. The most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. These side effects are typically mild and tend to improve over time as the body adjusts to the medication. 

The Mayo Clinic Diet can support you

If you are interested in exploring Wegovy treatment for weight loss, it is essential to work closely with an experienced healthcare provider to determine if it is the right treatment option for you. A comprehensive weight-loss program that includes diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes is also recommended in conjunction with Wegovy to achieve the best results. 

The Mayo Clinic Diet has developed a new program for Weight-Loss Medications. This program offers a healthier way to achieve weight loss while using medication: 

Weight-loss medications such as GLP-1s offer new hope for people with excess weight, but only when paired with a supportive program, like the Mayo Clinic Diet. 

Need access to GLP-1s? The Mayo Clinic Diet platform now offers clinical care for members interested in adding weight-loss medication to their journey.

Which plan is right for you?

Which plan is right for you?

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