January 5, 2023
Eli Lilly and Company launched a website, lillydirect.com, to enable people to directly order from the drug maker including its weight-loss medicine Zepbound as well as connect people with obesity and other conditions with telehealth companies.
The service, called LillyDirect, comes on the back on extraordinary demand seen over the last year for powerful weight-loss drugs such as Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy.
The website will connect patients to independent telehealth providers (FORM) who can complement their current team of doctors or be an alternative to in-person care for certain conditions, the company said. It will also provide pharmacy services through third-party providers.
Optimism over Lilly’s Zepbound, launched last month, drove a 59% surge in the company’s shares last year, making it the largest healthcare firm by market capitalization.
Lilly also said it stands against use of its obesity and diabetes drugs Mounjaro and Zepbound for “cosmetic weight loss.”
Zepbound costs $1,000 per month if not covered by insurance. Lilly is working n a savings program to reduce that cost.
Of course, the concern is that with a telehealth call, the MD will take the time to learn a patient’s medical history and not just rush to approve a prescription. Also, to provide some follow-up, especially regarding side effects. In addition, one cannot check vital signs via a telehealth call that would normally be checked in person with a doctor visit. However, telehealth seems to be a new healthcare delivery model model that is with us to stay, and weight loss services are no exception.
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