WeightWatchers introduced plans to purchase telehealth platform Weekend Well being, often known as Sequence, in a transfer towards providing prescription weight reduction medicine.
The corporate mentioned the money and fairness transaction is valued at $132 million, however the efficient internet buy value is $106 million. The deal is about to shut within the second quarter this yr.
Together with telehealth consultations, insurance coverage coordination, and vitamin and health plans, Sequence provides glucagon-like peptide-1 medicines together with semaglutide, which use the model names Wegovy, Ozempic and Rybelsus. The corporate launched in 2021 and had about 24,000 members in February.
“WeightWatchers’ vitamin and behavior-change program can present the help wanted to assist individuals construct livable wholesome habits for the long run and handle the dietary-induced unintended effects usually felt whereas taking continual weight administration medicines, similar to glucagon-like peptide-1s (GLP-1s),” Dr. Gary Foster, chief scientific officer of WeightWatchers, mentioned in a press release. “As we construct out our scientific weight administration pathway, we will likely be studying and sure tailoring our vitamin program for this distinct member journey. We all know weight administration isn’t one-size-fits-all and scientific interventions usually are not medically or in any other case acceptable for everybody, which is why we stay dedicated to all pathways.”
THE LARGER TREND
Curiosity and demand for semaglutide has risen up to now a number of months, with many pharmacists reporting shortages of Ozempic and Wegovy.
Although Ozempic is simply permitted to deal with diabetes, there are growing stories of off-label use for losing a few pounds. Wegovy was first permitted as a weight loss drug in 2021. Earlier this yr, the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines on kids and weight problems, arguing for early intervention together with surgical procedure and drugs. Wegovy was just lately permitted for kids ages 12 and older.
Although the drug is effective, it is also expensive and must be taken repeatedly or the effects will wear off.
One other digital weight reduction firm, Noom, has additionally begun providing the burden loss medicine. In line with reporting by Insider, it rolled out Noom Scientific to supply some customers entry to GLP-1 medicines.
Direct-to-consumer digital care firm Ro and one other on-line weight reduction firm, Calibrate, additionally supply semaglutides.