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 stated the money and fairness transaction is valued at $132 million, however the efficient web buy worth is $106 million. The deal is about 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 drugs, 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 drugs, equivalent to glucagon-like peptide-1s (GLP-1s),” Dr. Gary Foster, chief scientific officer of WeightWatchers, stated in an announcement.
“As we construct out our scientific weight administration pathway, we will likely be studying and certain tailoring our vitamin program for this distinct member journey. We all know weight administration isn’t one-size-fits-all and scientific interventions will not be 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 authorised to deal with diabetes, there are growing stories of off-label use for shedding weight. Wegovy was first authorised as a weight loss drug in 2021. Earlier this 12 months, the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines on youngsters and weight problems, arguing for early intervention, which contains surgical procedure and drugs. Wegovy was lately authorised for youngsters ages 12 and older.
Although the drug is effective, it is also expensive. It additionally must be taken constantly or the effects will wear off.
One other digital weight reduction firm, Noom, has additionally begun providing the burden loss medication. In accordance with reporting by Insider, it rolled out Noom Scientific to supply some customers entry to GLP-1 drugs.
Direct-to-consumer digital care firm Ro and one other on-line weight reduction firm, Calibrate, additionally provide semaglutides.