United States: Wegovy anti-obesity treatment soon to be covered by health insurance?

United States: Wegovy anti-obesity treatment soon to be covered by health insurance?


The drug Wegovy, already approved for weight loss in the United States, is now also authorized to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in obese or overweight people with cardiovascular disease, American health authorities announced Friday .

This decision could make it possible to widely extend health insurance coverage for this drug, from the Danish group Novo Nordisk. Many of them do not reimburse medications only indicated for weight loss in the United States.

“Wegovy is now the first weight loss drug to also be authorized to help prevent potentially fatal cardiovascular events” in these overweight patients, said John Sharretts, head of the US Medicines Agency (FDA). .

An expensive medicine

Wegovy, which uses the semaglutide molecule, was approved in 2021 in the United States for weight loss, in obese or overweight people who also have a related health problem (type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, etc.). It belongs to a new generation of treatments, imitating a gastrointestinal hormone (GLP-1), which have quickly become bestsellers around the world.

But their expensive prices pose a problem of access, because they are generally not reimbursed by health insurance in the United States. About 70% of American adults are obese or overweight, according to the FDA.

The FDA’s decision Friday is based on a large clinical trial, in which 17,600 people received either the Novo Nordisk treatment or a placebo. “Wegovy significantly reduced the number of serious cardiovascular events,” such as heart attacks or strokes, the FDA emphasized. They “occurred in 6.5% of participants who received Wegovy, compared to 8% of participants who received a placebo.”



Source link