WeightWatchers introduced plans to purchase telehealth platform Weekend Well being, also referred to as Sequence, in a transfer towards providing prescription weight reduction medication.
The corporate mentioned the money and fairness transaction is valued at $132 million, however the efficient web buy value is $106 million. The deal is ready to shut within the second quarter this 12 months.
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 folks construct livable wholesome habits for the long run and handle the dietary-induced uncomfortable side effects usually felt whereas taking power weight administration medicines, equivalent 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 medical weight administration pathway, we might 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 medical 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 prior to now a number of months, with many pharmacists reporting shortages of Ozempic and Wegovy.
Although Ozempic is simply authorised to deal with diabetes, there are growing experiences of off-label use for reducing weight. Wegovy was first authorised as a weight reduction drug in 2021. Earlier this 12 months, the American Academy of Pediatrics launched new tips on kids and weight problems, arguing for early intervention, which contains surgical procedure and drugs. Wegovy was lately authorised for kids ages 12 and older.
Although the drug is efficient, it is also costly. It additionally must be taken constantly or the results will put on off.
One other digital weight reduction firm, Noom, has additionally begun providing the load loss medication. In keeping with reporting by Insider, it rolled out Noom Medical 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.