Survey: 1 in 8 U.S. Adults Has Used GLP-1 Drugs Like Ozempic

Survey: 1 in 8 U.S. Adults Has Used GLP-1 Drugs Like Ozempic

Recent data from a KFF Health Tracking Poll indicates that approximately 12% of U.S. adults have used a GLP-1 agonist, a class of drugs that includes Wegovy, Ozempic, Zepbound, and Mounjaro. While these medications are often prescribed for weight loss, they are also commonly used to manage diabetes and heart disease. It's reported that 2 in 5 of those using GLP-1 drugs are doing so primarily for weight loss, while over 2 in 5 are diabetics and 1 in 4 have heart disease.

Despite the therapeutic benefits, the FDA has reported shortages of these medications over the past year, attributed to their increased demand. This shortage has been particularly felt by the more than 15 million people currently prescribed these drugs. Moreover, affordability remains a significant concern for users; a month's supply can cost around $1,000 before insurance, rebates, and discount coupons are applied, and 54% of survey respondents have reported difficulty in affording these medications. Public awareness has grown, with about one-third of adults saying they have heard "a lot" about these drugs.

Coverage for these medications has become a topic of debate, as Medicare is currently prohibited by law from covering prescription drugs for weight loss. The survey reveals that six in ten adults believe Medicare should cover the cost of GLP-1 drugs for weight loss when prescribed to those who are overweight. This opinion crosses political lines, with over half of Democrats, independents, and Republicans in agreement. The FDA has cautioned against compounded versions of semaglutide, which are not regulated or approved, as consumers seek alternatives amidst the drug shortages and high costs.


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