WeightWatchers enters Wegovy and Ozempic’s market by acquiring a telehealth company

WeightWatchers is entering the fast-growing fat loss injections market, it announced today.

The company is buying digital health company Sequence, a $99-a-month subscription service that offers virtual appointments with doctors who can prescribe weight-loss drugs like Wegovy.

It means WeightWatchers customers can access medical interventions in addition to the nutrition tracking and lifestyle changes it already offers.

The drugs – originally intended for people with diabetes – have exploded in popularity after several celebrities and influencers were rumored to have used them for weight loss, including Kim Kardashian and Elon Musk.

The anti-obesity drug market is booming following the FDA approval of Wegovy and Ozempic, with global sales of all obesity drugs expected to reach $30 billion by 2030.

WeightWatchers has long offered nutrition tracking and lifestyle changes, but now aims to provide customers with a medical answer to weight loss

WeightWatchers has long offered nutrition tracking and lifestyle changes, but now aims to provide customers with a medical answer to weight loss

Sima Sistani, CEO of WeightWatcher, called the fat-melting shots “the biggest innovation in our industry today,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

She said, “There’s a lot of excitement about the health outcomes of these drugs.”

Sequence opened its services in 2021 and had 24,000 members last month.

Subscribers are first asked about their height, weight, and existing medical conditions.

They then have access to doctors who can prescribe weight loss medications. They can also download an app to track their weight loss and meet online with dietitians and fitness coaches.

WeightWatchers Chief Scientific Officer Gary Foster said the company plans to promote Sequence’s services to its members.

It also hopes to offer programs for people on weight loss medications aimed at preserving and regaining muscle, as this is a side effect of shedding the pounds.

But he added: ‘We know that weight management is not for everyone and that clinical interventions are not medically or otherwise appropriate for everyone, so we remain committed to all pathways.’

The deal should be completed between April and June this year.

WeightWatchers is estimated to have about 5 million members worldwide.

The blockbuster drugs work by mimicking the effects of GLP-1, a hormone that slows the movement of food through the intestines, helping a person feel fuller for longer.

But the drugs are not without side effects. Last month, doctors told DailyMail.com most patients lose more muscle than fat while taking the drug.

And trials show that patients who come off the drug put the pounds back on in months.

Despite the concerns, Wegovy, its sister drug Ozempic, and other similar weight-loss drugs were an instant hit in the pharmaceutical industry, becoming so popular that they were in short supply for much of the past year. Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer, says supply issues will soon be quelled.

Users of drugs such as Wegovy and Ozempic inject themselves with the drug once a week.

Doses start small, at 0.25 mg, before working your way up to the maintenance phase of 2.4 mg per week.

The body does not naturally produce GLP-1 hormones like these. Instead, it produces them when needed to regulate appetite. Of course there will never be so many hormones active in the body at once.

Semgalutide also has a half-life of about seven days, meaning that when a person takes their weekly injection, much of last week’s injection is still in their body.

The Chinese team isn’t sure, but they fear it could cause problems for a person’s digestive system.

The scientists say it’s difficult to measure the growth of a person’s gut, meaning it’s unlikely it would have been caught in clinical trials.

The earliest sign of stomach problems is constipation, a common symptom that can cause a host of other health problems.

Wegovy has been a golden goose for Danish Novo Nordisk since it first became available in 2021.

In clinical trials, obese people who took the drug alongside a fitness plan lost 15 percent of their body weight over 68 weeks — much faster than other weight-loss drugs.

The drug, a reformulated version of its diabetes drug Ozempic, was so popular that its supply was nearly wiped out by the second half of 2022.

It also comes with a high price, costing users more than $1,000 per month if their insurance doesn’t pay for it.

However, there are concerns about its use. Some fear doctors are now turning to pharmaceuticals to solve America’s growing obesity crisis — instead of more natural diets and exercise.

Another study also showed that users of the drug regain all of their lost weight once they drop the weekly injections.

The drug has gained popularity among Hollywood’s biggest stars. Actress Chelsea Handler admitted that she had used the drug — albeit unknowingly — to lose weight earlier this year.

Billionaire tech magnate Elon Musk admitted on his Twitter last year that he used Wegovy to lose weight.


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