Doctors: Popularity of obesity, diabetes drugs has led to disparity in access
Doctors tell News 12 that some patients who could benefit from popular obesity and Type 2 diabetes drugs are unable to get them due producing shortages and price.
Dr. Neil Floch, the director of bariatric surgery at Greenwich Hospital, says these medications are popular because their active ingredient reduces hunger.
"Semaglutide slows the emptying of the stomach and that is the gut hormone or chemical in Ozempic in Rebelsys and Wegovy," says Floch.
As a result of their popularity, these drugs cannot be manufactured fast enough to meet demand.
Many of these medications are often not covered by insurance either.
"Many patients are paying for this medication out of pocket and it can be anywhere from $600 to $1400," says Floch.
According to Epic research, for the past five years more than 70% of Semaglutide prescriptions have gone to white patients and Floch says the inequity is glaring.
"As an obesity specialist, we have been waiting for a treatment that many people can obtain and have success. Unfortunately, the population who really needs it can't get it and it's really unfair."