What You Should Know:
– Prescriptions for the popular weight loss drug Wegovy showed a six-fold increase between December 2022 and June 2023, according to a recent analysis of prescribing trends by DrFirst.
– Prescriptions for Ozempic, the lower-dose version for treating diabetes, increased by 65% during the same period among doctors on the DrFirst prescribing network.
– DrFirst’s network includes over 350,000 prescribers across the U.S., including 260,000 doctors, who use their prescribing apps and solutions to transmit prescriptions.
Overall Semaglutide Prescriptions
There was a 150% increase in semaglutide prescriptions on DrFirst’s network in the last year, along with an 80% increase in prescriptions written per provider. Generic Medication: Ozempic and Wegovy have different names, dosages, and indications, but they are identical in terms of their molecular makeup, known as the generic medication semaglutide, and both are manufactured by Novo Nordisk. Semaglutide helps regulate the body’s secretion of hormones, such as insulin, while slowing stomach emptying and reducing hunger signals in the brain.
Prescribing Trends by Specialty
Primary care providers, including general and family practice, internal medicine, and obstetricians/gynecologists, were among the top prescribers of semaglutide. Endocrinologists wrote the most semaglutide prescriptions on DrFirst’s network.
Impact of Obesity and Diabetes Prevalence on Prescribing Trends
The CDC reports that approximately 42% of American adults are obese, and the prevalence of obesity is expected to rise globally, with about a quarter of the world’s population projected to be obese by 2035. Additionally, nearly 10% of Americans are estimated to have type 2 diabetes. The analysis indicates a notable change in prescribing trends following the availability of effective medications like semaglutide for patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Prior to December 2022, there was a relatively steady rate of prescriptions for Ozempic and Wegovy, with a significant surge occurring in December 2022 and continuing in the present time. The data reveals an increase in the prescriptions of other oral diabetes medications during the same period, albeit to a lesser degree.