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How much does Wegovy cost?
Medically Reviewed by Chimene Richa, MD, Ro; Written by Amelia Willson
Last updated: Feb 24, 2023
8 min read
Wegovy (semaglutide) is a prescription medication that you inject once a week into your abdomen, upper arm, or thigh. When combined with exercise and a low-calorie diet, the weight loss drug helps people with obesity (BMI of 30 or higher) or those who have overweight (BMI of 27 or higher) and weight-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes, manage their weight.
If you’re considering taking Wegovy, you may be wondering how much Wegovy costs, how you can get it, and how it works. Read on as we explain.
How much does Wegovy cost?
The cost of Wegovy depends on your insurance coverage and the pharmacy you use. A package of Wegovy contains four pens, each pre-filled with a single dose of Wegovy, or about a month’s worth of the medication. Without insurance, the list price of Wegovy is $1,349.02 per package, which breaks down to $269.80 per week or $16,188.24 per year.
Even without health insurance, it is possible to save on Wegovy and bring down the cost of Wegovy. Sites like GoodRx aggregate free Wegovy coupons that can be used at a variety of pharmacies — including Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart — enabling people to save between 7% to 34% on the retailer’s price. There is no generic version of Wegovy at the time of writing.
Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Wegovy, offers a savings program. With the WeGoTogether program, you can pay as little as $0 for a 28-day supply of Wegovy if you have private or commercial insurance with prescription drug coverage. For those whose insurance does not cover Wegovy, you can save up to $500 for a 28-day supply with the savings offer.
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Does insurance cover Wegovy?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Wegovy as a weight loss drug in 202. Whether or not Wegovy is covered by your insurance will depend on your prescription drug coverage and the pharmacy you use. To find out if Wegovy is covered by your insurance plan, review your plan’s drug formulary. This lists all the drugs covered in your plan. If Wegovy is not listed, your healthcare provider can write an appeal letter on your behalf to your insurance company requesting an exception.
In general, Medicare prescription drug plans do not cover weight loss drugs or other medicines that treat obesity and overweight. However, double-check your specific’s plan’s prescription drug coverage to be sure.
If you’re a veteran receiving care through the VA, you may be able to get Wegovy covered as part of your treatment plan under the MOVE! Weight Management Program.
Is Wegovy covered by Medicaid?
As a newly approved weight loss medication, Medicaid programs are playing catch up when it comes to Wegovy coverage, and not all state programs cover it at the time of writing. Check your plan’s formulary or contact your state Medicaid agency to see if Wegovy is covered. If Wegovy is covered, your Medicaid plan may require prior authorization.
Wegovy vs. Ozempic Cost
Wegovy and Ozempic have been found to help people lose weight. The drugs share the same active ingredient, semaglutide, but Wegovy can be prescribed in additional, higher doses. However, if you are taking the drug for weight loss, clinical trials have shown that the maximum 2.4 mg dose of Wegovy causes more significant weight loss than the maximum 1 mg dose of Ozempic.
At this time, only Wegovy is FDA-approved to help with chronic weight management, so it is much more likely to be covered by insurance. While Ozempic may be prescribed off-label to help with weight loss, it is not approved to do so, so it is unlikely to be covered by insurance. Ozempic is FDA-approved as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. Without insurance, Ozempic costs around $892.06 per month.
If you also have type 2 diabetes, you may qualify for the Novo Nordisk Patient Assistance Program (PAP), which provides Ozempic and other diabetes medications for free. To qualify for the PAP, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident with a total household income at or below 400% of the federal poverty line and no private insurance or health coverage through a federal, state, or government program. You will need to work with your healthcare provider to complete the application and submit it for approval.
Novo Nordisk also offers an Ozempic Savings Card, which can bring the cost of Ozempic down by $150 for a one-month prescription, $300 for a two-month prescription, and $450 for a three-month prescription. Similar to the Wegovy Savings card, you must have private or commercial insurance and meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify.
The bottom line: Both Wegovy and Ozempic can lead to weight loss, but because Wegovy is FDA-approved for chronic weight management, it is more likely to be covered by insurance than Ozempic. Because neither drug has a generic version, they have high retail prices. Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of both drugs, offers savings programs that can bring down the cost of these medications.
How to get Wegovy
As a prescription drug, you will need a doctor’s prescription to get Wegovy. You can schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to see about getting a prescription for Wegovy.
Another option to get Wegovy is through the Ro Body Program. Ro’s 12-month Body Program helps people lose an average of 15% of their body weight by pairing a GLP-1 medication, like Wegovy, with personal coaching for 365 days. In addition to a prescription for Wegovy, individuals get access to a dedicated health coach who provides support and personalized guidance for weight loss. Individuals can lean on their health coach while following Ro’s evidence-backed weight loss curriculum that offers tips and strategies to turn new lifestyle changes into sustainable habits for a happier, healthier you.
How to get Wegovy cheaper
As a brand name drug, Wegovy can be expensive, but there are several options for reducing the cost you pay for Wegovy.
Websites like SingleCare and GoodRx offer coupons for various medications, including Wegovy. Type in your location and the site will give you a list of discounted prices for the pharmacies in your area. You can also call pharmacies in your area to see who offers Wegovy for the lowest price.
It is also possible that an alternate weight loss medication may be covered by your prescription drug plan. For example, Saxenda has also been FDA-approved to help adults with obesity or overweight with a weight-related medical condition. Saxenda is in the same drug class as Wegovy, although it has a different active ingredient (liraglutide). Saxenda also has similar gastrointestinal side effects to Wegovy, such as nausea and vomiting. Unlike Wegovy, however, Saxenda must be injected daily.
Wegovy Savings Card
Novo Nordisk offers a Wegovy Savings Card for people with insurance, with or without coverage for Wegovy.
If your insurance covers Wegovy, you can pay as little as $0 for a 28-day supply (1 box) of Wegovy and save up to $225 for a 28-day supply of Wegovy, $450 for a 56-day supply (2 boxes) or $675 per 84-day supply (3 boxes). After your twelfth fill, you may pay as little as $25 per 28-day supply of Wegovy, $50 per 56-day supply, or $75 per 84-day supply, with maximum savings of $200 per 28-day supply, $400 per 56-day supply, and $600 per 84-day supply.
If you have insurance but it does not cover Wegovy, you can save up to $500 for a 28-day supply, $1,000 per 56-day supply, or $1,500 per 84-day supply.
To be eligible for the Savings Card, you must live in the United States, and have commercial insurance and a valid prescription for Wegovy. Individuals with federal or state health coverage, such as Medicaid, Medicare, or VA, are not eligible. Both Savings Cards include up to 12 fills of Wegovy.
How does Wegovy work?
Wegovy is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. The active ingredient in Wegovy is semaglutide. Semaglutide mimics GLP-1, a hormone that regulates your appetite by influencing the reward center in your brain. Wegovy slows digestion and gastric emptying, or the process by which your stomach empties. Because it takes longer for your stomach to empty, you feel fuller longer. This reduces your appetite, leading you to eat less food and experience weight loss.
After 68 weeks, clinical trials show that people taking Wegovy experienced a 14.9% reduction in their body weight, over five times higher than those taking the placebo alone. Participants also reduced their cardiovascular risk and reported improved physical functioning. Other clinical trials have found that Wegovy may be more effective in producing weight loss than other antidiabetic medications, which can also contribute to weight loss.
Wegovy side effects
The most common side effects of Wegovy are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Typically, these lessen over time. To minimize side effects, it’s common to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase over a period of weeks. Other common side effects of Wegovy may include:
Serious side effects of Wegovy may include:
Diabetes-related vision loss (diabetic retinopathy)
Increased heart rate
Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
Low blood pressure
Low blood sugar
Severe allergic reaction to the ingredients in Wegovy
If you experience any of these, talk to your healthcare provider immediately for medical advice. They may adjust your dosage of Wegovy or prescribe a different medication.
Some people should avoid taking Wegovy. These include pregnant people, children, and anyone with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), or with a known allergy to any of the ingredients in Wegovy.
If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Chimene Richa, MD
Dr. Chimene Richa is a board-certified Ophthalmologist and Senior Medical Writer/Reviewer at Ro.
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