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Holland Clinic's GLP-1 Medical Weight Loss Program

April 22, 2023 at 2:24:22 PM

Our new GLP-1 medical weight loss program is based upon a class of drugs called 'GLP-1 Agonists' that have recently become the subject of a great deal of media attention and hype on social media. Learn how our GLP-1 program works, what it costs and how well it works.

Holland Clinic's GLP-1 Medical Weight Loss Program

A New Weight Loss Program Based on New Weight Loss Drugs

We are excited to introduce our new GLP-1 based medical weight loss program. This program uses the same approach to diet and exercise as our traditional program, as well as the same laboratory testing. Treatment involves the use of one of several GLP-1 analogue drugs like Wegovy or Mounjaro. 

Unfortunately, this program is not for everyone because of the very high drug costs involved and because medical insurance plans rarely cover these costs, but for patients able to afford them, GLP-1 drugs may be somewhat more effective than traditional weight loss drugs. For the majority of people who cannot afford these drugs, our traditional program produces results that are very similar at a fraction of the cost.

Why a New Program?

Lately (2023) GLP-1 drugs have become social media memes used by celebrities like Elon Musk who have raved about them. This program is offered due to the intense public interest and exciting new research results. With this program, we are able to provide our patients with cutting-edge treatments and medications to help them achieve their goals. However, it is critical that people understand that these drugs can cost as much as $1350 per month and are rarely paid for by health insurance. We strive to provide the best care and treatments, and this new program is a testament to that commitment.

What ARE GLP-1 Drugs?

Why are GLP-1 Drugs SO Expensive?

APPLY to GLP-1 Program

Eligibility for GLP-1 Program

Our new GLP-1 program is open to all current patients of our practice, as well as members of the public whose body mass index (BMI) is greater than 27. Current patients of our traditional program can switch to GLP-1 if they desire, and new patients can start with the traditional program and switch to GLP-1 any time. Our two programs are complimentary of each other, offering comprehensive support for successful medical weight loss.

Price of GLP-1 Program and Price of GLP-1 Drugs

The Cost of GLP-1 Program for Medical Weight Loss is $99 per four weeks. Patients receive a written prescription that they can fill at the pharmacy of their choice. Depending on the drug and dose, the price to fill the prescription is typically between $650 and $1350 per four weeks. Unfortunately, insurance rarely covers the cost of this program.

Can Holland Clinic Persuade My Insurance Carrier to Pay for my GLP-1 Prescription?

Holland Clinic has a clear policy regarding communication with insurance carriers for medical weight loss. Unless patients have at least one very serious weight-related illness and a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35, insurance almost never pays and Holland Clinic will not attempt persuasion. If a patient does meet the co-morbidity criteria then we will write a letter to explain the need for medical weight loss and submit it to the insurance carrier. We cannot write more than two letters to the insurance carrier and we cannot refund money in case of an insurance denial.

Choices in Event of Insurance Denial

Patients denied coverage for GLP-1 drugs by their insurance carriers have three choices. They can elect to pay out of pocket for the GLP-1 drugs, switch to our traditional program and apply their GLP-1 application to the price, or elect not to start care at all. Unfortunately, we cannot refund patients under any circumstances. It is important to discuss all available options with your physician before making a decision.

What if I Want to Keep Trying to Get Insurance Coverage?

Holland Clinic and Dr. will continue to attempt to persuade your insurance company after two denials, however our consultation rates will apply. Our consultation rate is $200 per hour and most insurance letters require about one quarter hour of work, costing accordingly. Extensive letters may take up to a full hour. Although we will do our best to secure extra insurance work for your medical weight loss, we cannot

Insurance companies rarely cover the cost of GLP-1 agonist drugs.
A box of four 2.4mg Wegovy pens

success and no refunds will be provided.

Specific GLP-1 Medications Used in Our GLP-1 Program

Lets take a look at each of the individual weight loss drugs that we use in our traditional medical weight loss program.

Semaglutide (Wegovy)

Semaglutide is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. It was developed to treat type 2 diabetes and works by mimicking the effects of the hormone GLP-1, which stimulates insulin secretion and reduces glucose production in the liver. Semaglutide is administered as a subcutaneous injection once a week and has been shown to effectively lower blood sugar levels and improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.

In addition to its antidiabetic effects, semaglutide has also been found to have a significant impact on body weight. Clinical trials have shown that treatment with semaglutide is associated with a significant reduction in body weight, even in people without diabetes who are overweight or obese. In one study, participants treated with semaglutide lost an average of 15.3% of their body weight over 68 weeks, compared to 2.6% in the placebo group.

The mechanisms by which semaglutide leads to weight loss are not fully understood, but it is believed to involve multiple pathways. One possible explanation is that semaglutide reduces appetite and food intake by acting on the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that regulates hunger and satiety. Semaglutide has also been shown to slow down gastric emptying, which may help people feel fuller for longer periods of time.

In addition to its effects on weight loss, semaglutide has been found to have other metabolic benefits, including improving lipid profiles, reducing blood pressure, and decreasing markers of inflammation.

Despite its potential benefits, semaglutide is not without side effects. The most common adverse effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which usually improve over time. Rare but serious side effects include pancreatitis and thyroid tumors, although the incidence of these events is low.

In conclusion, semaglutide is a medication that has shown promise in treating type 2 diabetes and promoting weight loss in overweight and obese individuals. Its mechanisms of action are complex and involve multiple pathways, and it has the potential to improve multiple metabolic parameters beyond glucose control. However, it should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider, and its risks and benefits should be carefully considered before initiating treatment.


Saxenda, also known by its generic name liraglutide, is a prescription medication that aids in weight management. The active ingredient in Saxenda, liraglutide, is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It is a long-acting synthetic version of the naturally occurring human GLP-1 hormone, which is involved in appetite regulation and insulin secretion.

Liraglutide works by mimicking the effects of GLP-1 in the body, which has several impacts on weight management. First, it helps to control appetite by increasing feelings of fullness and satiety after meals. This results in reduced food intake and, ultimately, weight loss. Secondly, it promotes insulin secretion in a glucose-dependent manner, leading to better blood sugar control. Improved insulin sensitivity can also contribute to weight loss, as insulin resistance is often associated with obesity.

Saxenda's effect on body weight has been demonstrated in multiple clinical trials. Patients using the medication as part of a comprehensive weight management program that includes a calorie-reduced diet and increased physical activity have experienced significant weight loss compared to those on a placebo. It is important to note that Saxenda is intended for use in conjunction with these lifestyle changes, as the medication alone may not produce the desired results. Furthermore, Saxenda is primarily recommended for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or those with a BMI of 27 or higher who have weight-related health conditions.


Mounjaro (Tirzepatide) is an iinjectable medication primarily developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is a dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, which means it acts on two different hormonal pathways to help regulate blood sugar levels and confer additional metabolic benefits, including weight loss.

The impact of tirzepatide on body weight can be attributed to several mechanisms. As a GLP-1 receptor agonist, tirzepatide promotes satiety, helping individuals feel fuller after eating and leading to a reduction in food intake. Additionally, it slows down gastric emptying, which further contributes to the sensation of fullness. The GIP component of tirzepatide is believed to play a role in energy expenditure and fat metabolism, complementing the effects of GLP-1 receptor agonism on weight loss.

Clinical trials of tirzepatide have demonstrated significant reductions in body weight among participants. In addition to improved glycemic control, participants experienced substantial weight loss compared to those using other antidiabetic medications or placebos. The degree of weight loss observed with tirzepatide has been promising, indicating its potential as a treatment option for patients with type 2 diabetes who also struggle with obesity or weight-related health issues.

It is important to note that the optimal results with tirzepatide, or any weight loss medication, are achieved when used in conjunction with a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and other lifestyle modifications.

Tirzepatide is currently (March 21, 2023) only available for the treatment of Type-2 diabetes and not (yet) weight loss. Weight loss approval is expected soon however.

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