Costco Now Offering Ozempic Prescriptions

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Retail giant Costco is the undisputed champion of the $1.50 hot dog — not to mention everything from mattresses to bags of buffalo chicken wings the size of a king-size pillow.

Add to that caloric list a puzzling new category: you can now get Ozempic, Wegovy, and other weight loss medications at the big box store, likely spurring the popularity of these drugs to new heights.

Costco announced that shoppers can start getting the weight loss drugs starting on Tuesday, USA Today reports, after going through an online doctor’s visit via Sesame, a discount health care company partnering up with the big box mammoth.

The move will give even greater exposure to weight loss drugs like semaglutide — labeled as Ozempic for diabetes treatment and as Wegovy for weight loss — which is already incredibly popular, to the point that its manufacturer Novo Nordisk is dealing with shortages.

Other weight loss drugs available at Costco include include Mounjaro, which works similarly to semaglutide by slowing down your appetite and decreasing blood sugar in the body.

Costco members pay $179 for a three-month subscription to be part of the weight loss drug program, which includes a video consultation and unlimited messaging with a medical provider. But, Sesame adds in its FAQ section, the price does not include the medication itself, which can run from $950 to $1,600 per month.

It seems a little ironic and quintessentially American that Costco, seller of titanic quantities of rich and processed foodstuffs, is now offering a weight loss drug. But the CEOs of the warehouse retailer knows there’s money to be made — especially with four out of 10 Americans considered obese.

Basically, there are a lot of people who want to lose weight, especially since carrying extra pounds increases the risk for heart and other health issues.

That’s part of why semaglutide and other treatments like it are so hot right now. Beyond weight loss, recent studies have shown that semaglutide seems to have beneficial health benefits such as reducing kidney disease progression, helping with cardiovascular health, and perhaps even alleviating alcoholism.

There are downsides as well. Some patients have reported developing severe stomach issues such as pancreatitis and bowel obstruction. And some people may gain weight if they get off the medication.

But fear not, Novo Nordisk is now developing a possibly cheaper weight loss medication, a pill called amycretin, which has indications that it could be even more effective in helping people lose weight compared to semaglutide.

If it makes it to market — always an “if” in the tightly-regulated world of pharma — we’re sure we’ll see it on the shelves of Costco soon enough.

More on semaglutide: Semaglutide Can Cut Diabetic Kidney Disease Progression

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This post was originally published on Futurism

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