The Hustle

Weight loss drugs and the pre-existing condition of being American

medications pricing chart

Olivia Heller

The US health care system, ladies and gentlemen:

If you think there aren’t already dozens of sad stories on GoFundMe of people seeking help to pay for these drugs, you must be new here.

Why the economics are so wonky

Today, some Americans are paying $10k+/year to access popular weight loss drugs, per The Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ found multiple patients picking up second jobs, cutting back on groceries, and accruing credit card debt to afford the meds after their insurance denied coverage.

A June report showed only 43% of US plans covering the drugs. Why?

No matter the reasoning, a dearth of insurance coverage leaves patients to pay full, steep retail prices. The cheapest option we could find for a month’s supply of Ozempic was $870.70; Wegovy bottomed out at $1.3k+.

The only answer for now: guilt

Those who can afford out-of-pocket prices will continue to fuel the craze — “The Millionaire Matchmaker” star Patti Stanger told WSJ: “[Ozempic] is the Hollywood drug… Everybody I know is on it.”

When they feel bad about it, perhaps they’ll head to GoFundMe to help those with limited financial means — and oftentimes more pressing need for the medications — eke by.

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