PSG Survey Finds 33% of Health Plans, Employers Cover GLP-1s for Obesity

A recent survey from the Pharmaceutical Strategies Group (PSG) found that 33% of health plans and employers provide coverage for GLP-1 medications for obesity and 91% cover them for Type 2 diabetes. While an additional 19% of respondents said they were considering covering the drugs for obesity, plans and companies that do not cover the medications indicated they were primarily concerned with their high costs or considered them as lifestyle drugs rather than as pharmaceuticals to treat obesity as a disease.

“In an ideal world, if these drugs were really cheap, everyone would cover them for obesity,” says Morgan Lee, Ph.D., PSG’s senior director of research and strategy and one of the report’s authors. However, she notes GLP-1 medications such as Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy (semaglutide) and Eli Lilly & Co.’s Zepbound (tirzepatide) have a wholesale acquisition cost of about $13,000 per year, and more than 40% of the U.S. population is obese. If 40% of a payer’s members take GLP-1s, Lee says the financial impact could be “terrifying.”

© 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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