Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Qsymia, the weight loss drug & it's future on healthcare plans

The current related cost of the US Government in relation to the cost of healthcare to obesity is $137 billion.  Much of this is due to the 35.7% of individuals who are obese according to the CDC.  However, for the first time in years, the FDA is beginning to approve drugs to help this problem, as many are now recognizing obesity as a disease.

The Vivus weight loss drug Qsymia will eventually be covered by health plans, but it's will take a few  years to reach that point according to The Financial Times.  It has been approved by the FDA in relation to weight loss in at least one related medical condition.  Those in control of the coverage of the drug are beginning to see obesity as a disease, which can be treated by medications such as Qsymia.  As the cost of care rises in the United States treating the obese, more coverage will be provided by health insurance plans.  Once patients are on this drug, there are many times that they've been able to come off insulin completely. This drug is currently covered by 30% of health plans, and the article believes that sales of this drug could reach $1.6 billion in 2019.

This February at Innovation and Commercialization of Therapeutics for Metabolic Disorders, Alissa Heizler-Mendoza, Senior Medical Science Liaison of Amylin Pharmaceuticals will be on hand to present "Deploy Healthcare Databases to Make the Case for Reimbursement of your Novel Diabetes-Therapeutic." During this presentation, she will discuss how to present a case to payors on why the weight loss drugs companies are developing for diabetes should be covered for reimbursement.  For more information, download the agenda today. If you'd like to join us, register and mention code XP1803BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate.

What is the future of insurance coverage for prescription obesity drugs? Do you think coverage will increase as as rapidly as suggested?

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