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Bottom Line Cost for GLP-1s

April 26, 2023 at 1:39:32 AM

Can you afford to take a GLP-1 agonist drug for weight loss? Let's take a careful look at exactly what it costs.

Bottom Line Cost for GLP-1s

At Holland Clinic, we understand the importance of offering a variety of weight loss solutions to suit the needs and budgets of our patients. One such treatment option is the use of GLP-1 agonist drugs, which have been shown to be effective in promoting weight loss. However, it is important to be aware of the high cost associated with these medications and the potential challenges that may arise due to their limited insurance coverage.

GLP-1 agonist drugs can indeed lead to significant weight loss, but their high cost can be problematic for many patients. These medications typically range from $650 to $1,350 per month, depending on the drug and dosage. Furthermore, health insurance companies often do not cover the cost of these medications unless the patient has at least one serious weight-related comorbidity that has not responded to conventional therapy.

Long Dose Titration to Maximum

​​It is important to note that most GLP-1 agonist drugs require a 4-6 month titration period to reach the maximum dosage while avoiding severe side effects. Significant weight loss typically only occurs once the patient has reached the maximum dose. Consistency in taking these medications is crucial, as interruptions in treatment can lead to rapid weight regain and the need for another slow titration process to reach the maximum dose again.​When considering GLP-1 agonist drugs for weight loss, it is essential to weigh the benefits of their efficacy against the financial burden they may impose. Patients should be certain that they can consistently afford the monthly cost of these medications, as treatment failure may result if the cost becomes too high.​

At Holland Clinic, we are committed to supporting our patients in finding the best weight loss solutions for their individual needs. Should the cost of our "GLP-1 Program" prove too high, patients have the option to switch to our "Classic Appetite Suppressant Program" as a more budget-friendly alternative. Our goal is to ensure that every patient has access to a weight loss program that aligns with their goals and financial circumstances.

GLP-1 Drug Pricing:
A Comprehensive Look at Wegovy Costs​

Now lets look straight at prices: To give you a clear understanding of the costs involved, we have outlined the advertised prices for Wegovy if purchased from CVS. Each price listed below covers a 28-day supply, which includes four pens (syringes) for weekly injections:​

0.25mg dose: $1391

0.5mg dose: $1391

1.0 mg dose: $1391

1.7mg dose: $1391

2.4mg dose (maximum dose): $1391

$1391 Each Four Weeks

The upshot of this pricing is that regardless of dose, Wegovy costs $1391 per four weeks. But, there is some good news...

$500 Manufacturer Wegovy Discount Card

For patients whose insurance does NOT cover Wegovy and who must pay out of pocket, the drug's manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, offers a $500 discount card. This effectively lowers the price to $900 per four weeks. Whether this changes the monetary calculus​ for you will likely depend upon your income and net worth.

Final Bottom Line: Wegovy Costs About $900 Per Four Weeks

Once you are armed with your $500 manufacturer discount card you are prepared to receive the lowest retail price for Wegovy: $891 per 28 days.

Sixteen Weeks (~$3600) To Reach Maximum Dose

Remember that you cannot start with the highest dose but must build-up slowly as detailed above so that, unfortunately, the first sixteen weeks involve sub-maximum doses. Also, any interuption in care will require a full 4 month re-build-up

Summary: Caveat Emptor

In the final analysis, Wegovy and similar drugs are incredibly expensive and anyone wanting to take them will have to pay nearly $900 per month. If you make and/or have enough money that such costs are affordable, then you might want to try these agents. But always remember, these drugs are not miracles and if they work better than classic weight loss drugs, they BARELY work better. Is that slight edge really worth it to you? It may be. But think carefully.

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