Many insurance companies do not include diet pills.


Many insurance companies do not include diet pills.

In December, the U.S. food and drug administration approved a new obesity drug, Saxenda, the fourth prescription drug that the agency has created since 2012 to reduce obesity. Although two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, their insurance companies will not cover Saxenda or other anti-obesity drugs.

The health benefits of weight loss – improved blood sugar and risk factors for heart disease – may not be immediately apparent. Express Scripts, chief medical officer, “said Dr Steve Miller (Steve Miller),” for the long-term prevention things, it will make plan sponsors think their strategy, management of thousands of prescription drug benefit of the company. For example, companies with higher turnover are less likely to cover the drugs, he said.

“Most health plans will cover things that will have an immediate impact on the year,” miller said.

Miller, estimates that about one-third of the company contain no obesity drugs, a third covers all the weight-loss drug approved by FDA, and a third covers approved drugs, but restricting the use of them. The medicare prescription drug program explicitly excludes obesity drugs.

Medical insurance and private insurance companies are not willing to diet pills as part of the reason is that the past diet drugs there are serious security issues, including 1997 disabled fluorine ramin, part has been found that diet can damage the heart of benzene combination valve.

At that time, diet pills were often treated as cosmetic treatments. But with obesity and type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and so on the connection between the increased risk of severe illness becomes clearer, prescription drugs is considered to have played a role in settling the obesity epidemic. According to a 2012 study published in the journal of health economics, obesity accounts for 21 percent of annual medical costs in the United States, or $190 billion.

Recently approved drugs, Belviq and Qsymia, Contrave and Saxenda, inhibit appetite and so on. Studies have shown that combined with diet and exercise, people lose between five and ten percent of their body weight, and their weight loss is moderate enough to improve their health.

It is generally recommended that people with a bmi of 30 or more are the threshold of obesity. If they have heart disease, diabetes or other diseases, they may also be suitable for overweight people with a bmi of over 20.

Many people who take obesity drugs may stay here for life. ‘it’s causing trouble for insurance companies,’ Mr. Miller said.

Doctors may recommend that obese patients use weight-loss drugs to trick their hunger pangs.

The potential costs of insurance companies could be huge, he said.

Susan Pisano, a spokeswoman for the U.S. health insurance program, said the variability of insurance companies’ coverage of obesity drugs was “related to the evidence of effectiveness and the evidence of safety”.

Dr. Caroline Apovian, director of the center for nutrition and weight management at Boston university, said many of her patients can’t afford to pay more than $200 a month for obesity drugs.

“Insurance must be taken to address the problem of obesity,” Apovian said. “Insurance companies need to be aware that this is not a matter of willpower, it’s a disease.”


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