As Weight Loss Drugs’ Star Rises, Plan Sponsors, Researchers Worry About Costs

In recent months, the interest in prescription weight loss medications has grown exponentially as celebrities tout the drugs and clinical trial results show their safety and effectiveness. However, while tens of millions of people could benefit from the medications, health policy experts tell AIS Health that payers are taking a cautious approach and are concerned at the financial impact if the FDA approves more drugs for that indication, as is expected.

A recent survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that 22.1% of employers last year offered prescription drug coverage for weight loss, including 21.3% of corporations, 22% of public employers and 27% of multiemployer plans. Of the 470 companies that responded to the survey, 25% said obesity is one of the top three health conditions that has the largest impact on overall health costs.

© 2024 MMIT
Tim Casey

Tim Casey

Tim has been a reporter and editor for newspapers, websites and magazines for more than 20 years, including 10 years covering health care business topics. He has a deep knowledge of the managed care industry and pharmacy benefit management. He also has experience covering medical conferences and clinical and legislative health care issues. In 2014, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing selected Tim as one of 15 journalists to participate in a national symposium on the Affordable Care Act. Tim has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University.

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