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Report: US consumers pay high prices for weight loss drugs

Report: US consumers pay high prices for weight loss drugs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new study shows that people in the United States are paying significantly higher prices for weight loss drugs, including the drug made by Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Company.

According to the KFF analysis, people in the U.S. pay much higher prices for weight loss medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro when compared to other wealthy nations.

Mounjaro, which is primarily a diabetes medication made by Eli Lilly and Company, is also prescribed for weight loss. It has a list price of $1,023 in the U.S. for a one-month supply, according to the report. In comparison, the study showed that consumers in the Netherlands pay $444 for the same medicine.

When it came to Ozempic, American consumers paid $936 for a one-month supply. The KFF study found that among the nine other countries they looked at, none paid more than $200 for the same one-month supply of Ozempic.  

The study also said a one-month supply of Rybelsus, which contains the same drug as Ozempic, is $936 in the U.S. The next-highest paying country in the report was the Netherlands, where the same one-month supply costs only $203.

According to the report, the list price for one month of Ozempic in the U.S. ($936) is more than five times that in Japan ($169), and about ten times more than in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, and France. 

Photo courtesy: KFF

The other countries included in the KFF study were Switzerland, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Australia, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.  According to the report, the impact these drugs have on total health costs in a country not only depends on the net prices for the drugs but also on how many people use them.

“The U.S. has by far the highest rates of adults with obesity. A third of adults (33.6%) have obesity in the U.S. compared to an average of 17.1% across peer nations,” the KFF Analysis said.

According to previous KFF surveys, nearly half of adults in the U.S. said they would be interested in weight
loss drugs if they were deemed “safe and effective.”