Anti-obesity medications are a recent development in the obesity fight. There are several effective therapies available today and several more on the near-term horizon that have led to the loss of 20% or more of a patient’s body weight.
We know from the diabetes prevention trials that the loss of just 5% of a patient’s body weight coupled with 30 minutes of exercise a day can be effective at delaying the onset of or potentially reversing Type 2 diabetes in those who already have it.
Yet many health plans are not covering these important new, innovative treatments. Most plans today will cover expensive and invasive bariatric surgery, but not the counseling and drug therapies that could have avoided it.
To include anti-obesity drugs in their formulary, employers are required to opt in. We urge employers to take this step and cover other proven therapies including counseling.