How Do Prices of Drugs for Weight Loss in the U.S. Compare to Peer Nations’ Prices?

A class of drugs initially approved for diabetes treatment has captured the public’s and policymakers’ attention as interest in their off-label use for weight loss rises. The weight-loss benefits of these drugs have led to their prescribed use for obesity or overweight treatment.

A new analysis compares list prices for semaglutide—including Ozempic, which has been approved in the U.S. for diabetes, and Wegovy, which has the same active ingredient and has been approved for weight loss—and tirzepatide (Mounjaro) in the U.S. and other large, wealthy OECD nations.

Semaglutide prices are higher in the U.S. than in other countries. Ozempic is more than five times as expensive in the U.S. ($936) as in Japan ($169), which has the second highest list price. Similarly, Wegovy is nearly four times as expensive in the U.S. ($1,349) as in Germany ($328.)

The U.S. has by far the highest rates of adults with obesity. A third of adults (33.6%) have obesity in the U.S. compared to an average of 17.1% across peer nations

The analysis can be found on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.

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