1 in 8 US Adults Have Taken GLP-1 Drugs for Weight Loss, Poll Shows

A recent KFF poll found that 12% of US adults have taken GLP-1 drugs for weight loss and related conditions, with 6% currently using them. Pharmaceutical companies are working to increase supply and demonstrate additional medical benefits to broaden insurance coverage.

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Nitish Verma
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1 in 8 US Adults Have Taken GLP-1 Drugs for Weight Loss, Poll Shows

1 in 8 US Adults Have Taken GLP-1 Drugs for Weight Loss, Poll Shows

A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has revealed that approximately 12% ofroughly us adultshave taken GLP-1 drugs, such as Ozempic, Wegovy, or Zepbound, for weight loss and related conditions. Furthermore, 6% of those polled stated that they are currently using these medications.

Why this matters: The growing popularity of GLP-1 drugs for weight loss has significant implications for the healthcare system, as it may lead to increased demand and potential shortages. Moreover, the debate over insurance coverage and affordability could have a broader impact on the accessibility of these medications for those who need them most.

The poll highlights the growing popularity of GLP-1 drugs, despite intermittent shortages over the past year. Pharmaceutical companies, such as Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, are working to increase the supply of these treatments to meet the rising demand.

The KFF survey also showed that about one-third of adults are now aware of these drugs, up from 19% in July last year. However, affordability remains a challenge, with 54% of those who have taken weight loss drugs finding it difficult to afford them, even with insurance. Adults with higher household incomes (>$90,000) were more likely to be aware of these drugs.

Pharmaceutical companies are working to provide clinical evidence that their drugs have medical benefits beyond diabetes and weight loss, such as lowering the risk of stroke and heart attack. This could broaden insurance coverage, including Medicare prescription drug plans, which currently cannot cover drugs approved solely for obesity. Six in ten polled adults have taken these drugs when prescribed for weight loss.

The KFF survey, conducted among 1,479 U.S. adults between April 23 and May 1, 2023, provides valuable insights into the growing use and awareness of GLP-1 drugs for weight loss and related conditions. As pharmaceutical companies work to increase supply and demonstrate additional medical benefits, the debate over insurance coverage and affordability is likely to continue.