"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Costco Introduces Medical Weight Loss Subscription Program

April 2, 2024 – Costco is entering the growing medical weight reduction market, joining corporations like WeightWatchers and Noom as interest booms in the brand new class of medicine called GLP-1.

The discount wholesaler today began offering a medical weight reduction program with popular medications like Ozempic and Wegovy. The membership-based wholesaler's website describes this system as providing “expert clinical care” and “Costco pricing.”

For $179, subscribers receive three months of medical weight reduction services from Costco's partner. sesame, constructing on a relationship with other paid services resembling GP visits. The fee covers clinical meetings with a provider qualified to write down prescriptions for weight reduction medications. However, the associated fee of any prescriptions is just not covered by the fee.

While the names of popular medications resembling Ozempic, Wegovy, Zepbound and Mounjaro are prominently featured in marketing materials, these medications are only prescribed “for clinically appropriate patients” and are subject to “the availability of the medication at the pharmacy of their choice.” “a Sesame spokesperson told WebMD in an email.

The Costco offer creates potential price competition for weight-loss medical visits with providers who can oversee treatment, which may include popular prescription medications.

The pharmacy section of the Costco website now states that members can “lose weight today.” The Affordable Way,” describing the plan as a 3-month subscription where “your doctor designs a program that’s right for you, including appropriate prescriptions (like Ozempic, Wegovy, and others).” By clicking the link on the Costco website, members can be taken to the Sesame landing page.

Sesame describes itself as a health system for the uninsured and people with high-deductible plans.

“We are experiencing important innovations in medically supervised weight loss,” said David Goldhill, MA, co-founder and CEO of Sesame, in an emailed statement to WebMD News. “Sesame’s unique model not only allows us to make high-quality specialty treatments like weight loss much more accessible and affordable, but also enables physicians to create care plans that are specifically tailored and appropriate for each individual patient.”

According to a press release, Costco members who pay the $179 fee will select a healthcare provider for his or her first video meeting and can have the ability to message the provider between scheduled appointments. The provider advises people on weight-reduction plan, exercise and lifestyle changes and evaluates whether medication is required.

More than 70% of individuals age 20 and older within the United States meet the factors for being chubby or obese. Interest in taking weight reduction medications is growing, especially because the advent of the injectable drug Ozempic, which was approved by the FDA in 2021 for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Drugs in the identical drug class as Ozempic (called GLP-1) at the moment are approved for weight reduction, and in clinical trials, typical weight reduction was about 15% of an individual's body weight.

Not everyone experiences such dramatic results, and the medications carry the danger of unwanted effects resembling stomach or intestinal problems. Some individuals who stop taking the medications regain weight, and studies are underway to higher examine the long-term outcomes for people taking the medications and to match the outcomes with other approaches, resembling weight reduction surgery .

For some GLP-1s, demand was often greater than supply, resulting in shortages. But they look like on their method to becoming a mainstay in healthcare. A GLP-1 drug, Wegovy, was recently approved by the FDA, which recognizes that the drug reduces the danger of dying from heart problems resembling a heart attack or stroke in people who find themselves chubby or obese.