After years of promoting another drug, the American Diabetes Association updated its guidelines to put Wegovy and diabetes medication Ozempic as the preferred treatments for Type 2 diabetes, The Wall Street Journal reported March 5.
Wegovy is a weight-loss drug and Ozempic is a diabetes medication. Both treatments, which are the generic semaglutide, have been in shortage for months as demand spiked amid viral weight-loss trends on social media.
In past guidelines, the American Diabetes Association recommended providers prescribe metformin for Type 2 diabetes patients, but semaglutide took its place. The newer drugs can treat more than high blood sugar — which metformin focuses on — and help diabetes patients with hypertension, kidney disease and obesity.
A month’s supply of Wegovy and Ozempic costs thousands of dollars each, and metformin can cost about $25 without insurance or discounts, according to the Journal and GoodRx data.
Rozalina McCoy, MD, a Mayo Clinic physician who treats diabetes patients in Rochester, Minn., told the Journal the price difference can make the recommended drugs “out of reach for a lot of people who benefit the most.”
The drugs recommended by the American Diabetes Association for first treatments are AstraZeneca’s Byetta, Bydureon and Farxiga; Eli Lilly’s Trulicity and Mounjaro; Sanofi’s Adlyxin; Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic, Victoza and Rybelsus; Johnson & Johnson’s Invokana; Merck’s Steglatro; and Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly’s Jardiance.