Our Weight Management Program Includes Semaglutide, The Medication Found In Ozempic And Wegovy
We are now offering semaglutide, the active ingredient in the newest Rx-only weight loss medications Wegovy and Ozempic that you’ve seen advertised on TV. You can receive this active ingredient once a week for as long as you’re achieving your weight loss goals. Based on approval studies, a 15-18% weight loss is achievable!
SEMAGLUTIDE (FDA APPROVED WEGOVY/OZEMPIC)
- ONLINE TELEHEALTH WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM
- REAL WEIGHT LOSS RESULTS OF UP TO 2-3 POUNDS PER WEEK
- REDUCES APPETITE, IMPROVES CONTROL OF EATING AND REDUCES FOOD CRAVINGS
- IMPROVES INSULIN RESISTANCE, BURNS FAT AND BOOSTS ENERGY
- SAFE AND EFFECTIVE ONCE WEEKLY INJECTION
Ozempic was first approved in 2017 as a medication for Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is associated with obesity, compared to type 1 diabetes which is often associated with a genetic cause of diabetes seen in juveniles that are not necessarily overweight. In the process of reducing blood sugar and regulating insulin, Ozempic was found to also help patients lose weight.
While it’s legally permissible to use Ozempic for its weight loss benefits rather than to treat type 2 diabetes (off label use), the company that makes Ozempic, Novo Nordisk, also obtained FDA approval for Wegovy in 2021. So rather than obtaining Ozempic for the off label treatment of obesity, Wegovy can be prescribed for the express purpose of weight loss rather than diabetes. But treatment comes at a cost, especially if insurance coverage is not available.
As you can see above, purchasing a month supply of Wegovy (just the medication), can cost anywhere from $1300 to $1400 per month. Insurance won’t necessarily cover this medication if you don’t have the risk factors required to be a candidate – diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. To clarify, even without these risk factors, you can still get these medications but insurance won’t cover it and you’ll need to pay out of pocket.
And since Ozempic (the sister medication to Wegovy) isn’t technically approved for the off-label use of treating obesity (remember, it’s only approved to treat type 2 diabetes), you definitely won’t have luck with insurance coverage since insurance typically only covers on-label use.
A less expensive alternative
At our office, the semaglutide injections you receive weekly as part of our Medical Weight Management Program will be significantly less per month during the 6-month program. In addition to the medication, you’ll receive oversight and coaching by the doctor. Keep in mind insurance does not cover our program or the medication we provide but at least it’s a less expensive alternative than purchasing the brand name medications without coverage.
Our Medical Weight Mangement program Vs Purchasing the brand name medications without a program.
If after the virtual consultation you are confirmed that you’re a candidate and you want to proceed.
The Semaglutide is purchased online.
Semaglutide injections will be charged separately each month after confirming you’re a candidate. Limited spots available in each weight loss cohort.
Frequently asked Questions
What medications are we talking about and how do they work?
Ozempic, Wegovy, generic semaglutide, Rybelsus, Saxenda (iraglutide and approved in kids age 12-17), Mounjaro (tirzepatide) are all Glucagon Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. The active ingredient (and generic name) in this class of drugs all end in "tide." This will make it easier to spot these drugs in the future.
GLP-1 drugs stimulate the pancreas in type 2 diabetes to produce insulin. After initially producing too much insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes because of too much food intake and stimulating the pancreas to produce more and more insulin leading to insulin resistance, the pancreas gets "burned out." GLP-1 drugs enhance insulin secretion in this scenario.
In addition to producing insulin, these medications suppress appetite and make you feel full by slowing the movement of food from the stomach to the intestines. Based on the studies of the various medications above, some result in a 15% weight loss (semaglutide that we have in the office) or up to 25 pounds in other studies.
These medications are all injections except for Rybelsus which is an oral tablet. However, Rybelsus didn't result in as much weight loss in studies.
Ozempic was approved for type 2 diabetes in 2017 and found to have a side benefit of weight loss. Therefore, the manufacturer took the same medication and got approval specific for weight loss under the name Wegovy. So using this drug for weight loss is not off label. It is a legitimate, FDA-approved use.
Can the office just send the medication to me?
These medications are real medications and patients need to be monitored while on them. For that reason, all patients that are deemed candidates (more on this in a minute), must join our 6-month weight management program to get a health assessment, including bloodwork and an EKG, followed by weekly coaching sessions.
Who's a candidate?
While some may believe this medication is being unfairly taken away from type 2 diabetics, this really isn't an accurate assessment of the situation. Wegovy (semaglutide) is specifically approved for weight loss as long as you fit the criteria for obesity, which is to have a BMI of greater than 30 or greater than 27 if you have other comorbid conditions like type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. If you're a candidate and an Indiana resident, you can purchase a month's supply of semaglutide injections (the active ingredient found in Wegovy and Ozempic) from our office after joining the weight management program.
We can teach you how to give yourself the weekly injections in person or virtually once you've joined the program. The initial consult (a cost of $100 that will go towards the cost of the program) and subsequent sessions can all be done virtually. Again, you must be a California resident because we can not ship these medications to other states.
How much does it cost? Will insurance cover it?
Each month's supply of injectable semaglutide is $450 per month. Insurance does not cover our program and it is difficult to get coverage in general. Sometimes, even with insurance, your out of pocket cost may still be more expensive than the "all in" cost of our program with medication.
What are the side effects?
Side effects include burping, bloated feeling, diarrhea and most severe, but rare, pancreatitis. This is why we continue to monitor patients on semaglutide in our weight management program rather than distributing the medication unmonitored. Based on study results, it's unclear if someone who previously had pancreatitis can take this medication.
Many comments in our TikTok post asked about risks of cancer. Studies on lab rats showed an increase in thyroid cancer but this is not necessarily the case in humans. If you have a history of medullary thyroid cancer or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN) type 2, you should not take these medications.
Do you have to take it forever? What happens when you stop?
Based on current recommendations, you can continue to take the medication as long as it's beneficial.
Many asked if you will gain the weight back if you stop the medication. A better way to look at it is, if you stop the medication but continue with other behavioral changes like a healthy diet and exercise, you would not gain the weight back.
But even more important, if you lose weight with the medication in combination with diet and exercise, then stop the medication and conscientiously continue the diet and exercise, not only will you keep the weight off, you'll no longer have type 2 diabetes and won't need the medication! Why?
Type 2 diabetes is caused by obesity and is reversible. Consider using the medication to jump start your weight loss journey but don't stop there. Use this opportunity to start life anew with a healthy diet and exercise, reverse type 2 diabetes and stay off diabetes medications for good. (This advice does not apply to type 1 diabetes which is a very different disease and generally not curable in the same way type 2 diabetes is).
Is there a shortage of this medication?
Currently, we have a robust supply of semaglutide in our office for patients that meet the criteria for obesity. We obtain this generic, less expensive version of Ozempic and Wegovy from a compounding pharmacy.
While there may be a shortage of the brand name drugs, patients have other medication options as well as starting a healthy diet and exercise regimen to reverse and cure themselves of type 2 diabetes. Of course that's easier said than done, but still true. Sometimes when we have medications to treat disease, we can lose sight of non-medicinal, behavioral-based cures.