Weight-loss drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic are a threat to companies like WeightWatchers
Are new weight-loss drugs killing companies like WeightWatchers?
The news that the company — now known as WW — has acquired Sequence, a telemedicine provider that can prescribe drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic for a monthly fee, certainly suggests that today’s drugs pose an existential threat to companies that are thriving focus on behavioral approaches to weight loss.
And insider reported that Noom, an app that helps users track their eating and exercise habits, has quietly launched a service to prescribe weight-loss drugs to some customers.
As Evan Seigerman, analyst at BMO Capital Markets, put it in a note to clients, “Today’s announcement from WW commemorates the demise of Blockbuster, whose business model became irrelevant as digital streaming became a reality.”
WW says acquisition simply follows the science. When you compare the effects of weight loss from lifestyle changes (including WW users), bariatric surgery, older pharmaceutical procedures, and the new class of drugs, the differences are clear, says Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity physician at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital . Wegovy suggests intensive behavioral therapy at all levels of weight loss.
But there’s still a role for diet and exercise, and that’s what WW and Noom are banking on. Combining the new drugs with lifestyle changes offers (modest) improvements over the drugs alone. And of course, what we eat and how much we exercise is crucial to improving long-term health outcomes, e.g. B. to reduce the risk of heart disease or diabetes.
And the integration of apps that track behavior changes and pharmaceutical interventions could have a more practical benefit: It could help convince insurance providers to pay for these expensive drugs.
Insurance coverage for Wegovy and its competitors is currently patchy or non-existent. That’s a major hurdle when the regime can cost more than $1,600 a month — and when patients have to take the drug indefinitely to maintain the weight. WW told investors so, noting that the combination creates an approach that “could be attractive to payers, employers and healthcare systems risking lowering the overall cost of care.”
https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/do-new-weight-loss-drugs-spell-doom-for-companies-like-weightwatchers-20230310-p5cr48.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_business Weight-loss drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic are a threat to companies like WeightWatchers