Noom joins Weight Watchers in offering weight loss drugs

CLOCK: Weight loss programs now offer weight loss drugs

As the popularity of drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic used for weight loss continues to grow, another company focused on weight loss is entering the market.

Noom, an app that helps people track their eating and exercise habits, will now offer prescriptions through a new telehealth platform known as Noom Med.

The company said Noom Med will be available to people who meet certain requirements, such as a BMI of 30 or higher, and who are members of Noom Weight, its $42-per-month program that offers psychological tips to help with weight loss. of weight.

The cost of Noom Med will be $49 per month and includes “interactive patient education, a psychologically mindful curriculum, and a suite of comprehensive nutrition and exercise tools,” according to the company.

Qualifying users may be prescribed weight-loss medications after undergoing a “comprehensive lab work” and a “health assessment by a board-certified physician or physician-supervised nurse practitioner” , according to Noom.

VIDEO: Weight loss programs now offer weight loss drugs

Noom’s entry into the drug market comes three months after WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, made the same move.

In March, WW announced it acquired Sequence, a subscription-based telehealth platform that provides telehealth appointments with doctors who can prescribe popular drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy.

“These companies are profit-driven,” New York-based registered dietitian nutritionist Maya Feller told “Good Morning America.” “And if people want to lose weight and center that as the valuable thing, we’ll see more companies jump on the bandwagon and start using these GLP-1s.”

Ozempic and Wegovy are in a class of drugs called GLP-1 RAs that help people make insulin and lower the amount of sugar in their blood. The drugs slow the movement of food through the stomach, curbing appetite and leading to weight loss.

Both drugs are made from a compound called semaglutide, which work by helping the pancreas release insulin to move sugar from the blood into the body’s tissues.

A third popular drug now used for weight loss is Mounjaro, whose active ingredient, tirzepatide, works by activating two hormones naturally produced in the body: glucagon-like peptide-1, known as GLP-1, and the insulinotropic polypeptide glucose- employee, or GIP.

The combination is said to slow stomach emptying making people feel full longer, suppress appetite by slowing hunger signals to the brain, and help lower blood sugar.

Mario Tama/Getty Images, FILE

Boxes of the diabetes drug Ozempic rest on the counter of a drugstore, April 17, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Mounjaro is currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The drug’s maker, Eli Lilly, announced in April that it expects an additional version of the drug may be approved by the FDA for weight loss. already at the end of the year.

MORE: People Describe Real-Life Side Effects of Popular Injectable Weight Loss Drugs

The FDA approved Ozempic in 2017 as a treatment for type 2 diabetes alongside diet and exercise if other medications fail to control blood sugar levels well enough. While Ozempic isn’t explicitly approved for chronic weight management, it can be prescribed off-label and used for obese people.

Wegovy is essentially the same injectable drug as Ozempic, prescribed at a higher dosage. The FDA has specifically approved Wegovy for patients with severe obesity or who are overweight and have one or more weight-related conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

MORE: Women Struggling With PCOS Find Help Using Ozempic, Mounjaro

Without insurance coverage, the cost of medications can exceed $1,000 a month.

“What I’ve seen when patients take these drugs is that they dramatically change their relationship with food, so this idea that this is an easy fix is ‚Äč‚Äčcompletely false,” Feller said. “There are a lot of side effects that occur with this drug and people are actually sacrificing quite a bit to be thin and live in a smaller body.”

Ozempic, Mounjaro, and similar drugs cannot be given to patients with certain medical conditions, including medullary thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, or gallstones.

Side effects of medications can include severe nausea and constipation.

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