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Why Zepbound & Wegovy Remain Out of Reach for Americans? 

Zepbound & Wegovy Remain Out of Reach for Americans

Obesity is a common problem that requires medical attention to prevent any potential health risks like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure etc. According to reports from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, more than 2 in 5 adults in the US suffer from obesity. As a result, the FDA approved a new batch of weekly weight-loss injectables, Eli Lilly’s Zepbound and Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy pens, for effective weight-loss management. 

While these new weight-loss drugs showed promising results, they were not accessible to millions of Americans. Read on the following blog to know why. In addition, we will also discover the list of alternative traditional weight loss drugs that made a comeback as the new drugs remain inaccessible.

New Weight Loss Drugs: Why They Remain Out of Reach

Weight loss drugs like Zepbound and Wegovy have been on the priority list of Americans for managing their weight effectively. However, despite its popularity, these weight loss injections are not accessible to millions of people in the USA. Here are two major reasons why: 

  • Expensive: Pricing is among the significant factors that limit access to the new weight loss drugs for many Americans. Ranging from approximately $900 to $1,300 every four weeks per patient, as reported by the New York Times, the financial burden of using these medications for lifelong treatment proves challenging for the US population. 
  • Limited Supply: According to the FDA, the market is facing a shortage of weight loss drugs. This limited availability of Zepbound and Wegovy pens is among the other reasons people are unable to use these injections. As outlined on the FDA’s website, there will be insufficient Zepbound dosages until the end of April. This has resulted in the limited supply of 5 mg and 12.5 mg doses of Zepbound even in the best Canadian online pharmacy. 
  • Lack of Insurance Coverage: Besides the high rates of weight loss drugs like Zepbound and Wegovy, insurance companies refuse to cover the cost of these drugs. If they agree to pay, the company makes the approval process difficult for people. This adds to the other reason why these drugs remain out of reach to many Americans. As a result, traditional weight loss drugs prove to be a safer option for people who find it difficult to access modern weight loss drugs.

Why Zepbound and Wegovy Not Covered by Insurance?

Back in 2003, Congress set a rule in the Medicare Part D. The section states that the insurance program providing prescription drug coverage for senior citizens, would not include medicines intended for weight management- whether it is a weight loss or gain. However, the program does cover obesity screening and behavioral therapy for individuals with a body mass index over 30 as these are classified under the category of obese. 

This rule completely reformed Medicare’s prescription drug benefits. According to lawmakers, weight management is considered cosmetic rather than a medical necessity. Thus, making the authority hesitant to pay the high expenses of weight loss drugs as a part of insurance coverage.

Will Medicare Cover Weight Loss Drugs in the Future?

While Medicare Part D of the insurance program has previously limited coverage for weight management prescriptions, the conversation is now changing. As all over the news, Representatives Brad Wenstrup from Ohio and Raul Ruiz from California have introduced a new law. This law aims to allow Medicare to cover anti-obesity drugs, therapy, nutritionists, and dietitians, which are currently not covered. While Medicare covers some surgeries for obesity-related medical issues, this new law might expand coverage to include drugs that have shown similar effects to weight loss surgery. 

Are There Any Alternative Drugs to Zepbound and Wegovy?

As per the reports of CNN, conventional weight-loss drugs have made a strong comeback among individuals due to the limited accessibility of Zepbound and Wegovy injection. Here is a list of affordable drugs that are prescribed by medical professionals as alternatives to new weight loss drugs:

  • Phentermine: Being one of the oldest FDA-approved weight-loss drugs, the prescription for Phentermine rose by 34% between 2017 and 2023, as reported by CNN. Often used alone or in combination with topiramate, the drug is considered one of the safest options for weight management. However, it is crucial to know that this medication is suitable for short-term weight loss only. 
  • Metformin: This drug is approved for type 2 diabetes, and it aids people in losing their weight effectively. It’s believed that metformin can reduce cravings and alter how the body utilizes and stores fat. Weight loss with Metformin typically occurs gradually over 1-2 years, with results varying from person to person.
  • Bupropion: With prescriptions increasing by 29% between 2017 and 2023, as reported by CNN, Bupropion has experienced a significant comeback in the weight-loss market. The FDA-approved drug helps patients in weight management when combined with other medications, such as naltrexone, marketed as Contrave.

With the availability of a variety of weight-loss drugs in the market, it’s important to trust the expertise of your medical professionals. By carefully considering the potential side effects of each medication, your doctor will prescribe the one that is most suitable for your weight-loss journey. Once you have a valid prescription, ensure that you obtain the prescribed drugs. To benefit from exclusive discounts, consider purchasing from the best Canadian online pharmacy such as Polar Bear Meds.


The accessibility of new weight loss drugs like Zepbound and Wegovy remains a major issue for many Americans due to their high costs, limited supply, and lack of insurance coverage. While traditional weight loss drugs offer alternatives, they may not be as effective or suitable for long-term use. However, recent efforts by lawmakers, such as Representatives Brad Wenstrup and Raul Ruiz, aims to expand Medicare coverage for anti-obesity drugs, therapy, and other related services. This change is signaling a potential shift in the conversation, thereby making Zepbound and Wegovy injection accessible to low income people.

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