What Is the Average Semaglutide Price?

April 4, 2024
A stethoscope, money and a prescription bottle

Semaglutide medications are approved treatments for type-2 diabetes and obesity. Rybelsus and Ozempic are brand-name forms of semaglutide for treating type-2 diabetes. Wegovy is a higher dose of semaglutide for treating obesity. All forms of semaglutide induce weight loss in people with and without diabetes. However, the semaglutide price for brand-name medications is expensive.

All three medications are available only as brand-name medications. Most cost-effective generic versions will not be available for another decade or more.

Semaglutide brand-name prices are:

  • Rybelsus: retail price $935.77
  • Ozempic: retail price $935.77
  • Wegovy: retail price $1,349

Prescription prices vary by geographic location, insurance coverage, and whether they are brand-name vs. generic medications. Novo Nordisk owns the patent on semaglutide until June 21, 2033. This means that a generic form of semaglutide is not likely until after this date.

Compounded Semaglutide vs. Brand Name

There are many brand-name forms of semaglutide, but the manufacturers are having difficulty keeping up with the demand. This presents an interesting situation. Many more people will benefit from semaglutide for type 2 diabetes and weight loss than can be met with the current semaglutide supply.

For this reason, the FDA currently allows compounding pharmacies to make semaglutide under the FD&C Act. According to the FDA, this is permissible because Ozempic and Wegovy are considered to be “commercially unavailable. ” Medications that are commercially in short supply appear on the drug shortages list. Semaglutide is currently on this drug shortage list.

Compounded medications may not be identical to brand-name medications. The FDA has advised that semaglutide acetate and semaglutide sodium forms of semaglutide may not work in precisely the same way as semaglutide base. If you use compounded semaglutide, the FDA warns that semaglutide base is the only approved form of the medication. No salt form of semaglutide is contained in an approved drug.

It has been stated that compounding semaglutide is only allowable if it meets the following criteria:

  • It must be made from a semaglutide base
  • It must be made from a pharmaceutical-grade active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)
  • It must be compounded in a registered establishment

Pricing varies between compounded and brand-name semaglutide. As of November 2023, Invigor Medical offers semaglutide at $385 per month. Since compounded semaglutide is used for weight loss, the pricing should be compared to Wegovy. Wegovy has a retail price of $1,349 per month. This is about $269.80 per week and $16,188.24 per year. Checking at other online pharmacies for pricing, such as Amazon, you may find that the medication and its pricing are currently unavailable.

What Is the Average Semaglutide Price?

Semaglutide Price: Cost by Location

Semaglutide pricing also varies by geographic location. Knowing this, many people in the U.S. try to buy more expensive prescription medications like Ozempic from Canadian pharmacies.

Overall, anti-obesity drugs cost significantly more in the U.S. than in other countries, according to an analysis by KFF, a health policy organization.

According to KFF, Ozempic costs $936 in the U.S., $169 in Japan, $147 in Canada, $144 in Switzerland, and only $83 in France.

Wegovy costs $1,349 in the U.S., $328 in Germany, and $296 in the Netherlands. It is not yet available in the other countries that KFF researched for pricing.

Rybelsus costs $936 in the U.S., $158 in Canada, and just $69 in Japan.

Wegovy is only available in a few European markets and is not yet available in Australia due to drug shortages.

Pricing drugs in a pharmacy

Semaglutide Price: Cost by Retailer

Semaglutide prices may also vary by retailer. Insurance companies and online companies offering pharmacy coupons partner with certain pharmacies to offer medications at a discounted price.

Pharmacy benefit managers are third-party negotiators who play a significant role in managing prescription drug benefits. They work for the benefit of health insurance companies, Medicare Part D plans, and other payers. They negotiate to control drug costs and develop prescription formularies.

Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate with drug manufacturers to negotiate drug prices. They also negotiate with pharmacies. Pharmacies are expected to offer the drug at the negotiated price in exchange for being a part of the plan’s network.

As an example, on November 21, 2023, in a Midwest city, GoodRx offered Wegovy for the following prices:

  • CVS Pharmacy: $1,391
  • Meijer Pharmacy: $1,333
  • Walgreens: $1,400
  • Walmart: $1,407
  • Rite Aid: $1,313
  • Costco: $1,498
  • Target: $1,391
  • Discount Drug Mart: $1,311

The biggest discount in this sample is 2.6% off the $1,349 manufacturer’s list price.

Semaglutide: Insurance Coverage

A 2017 study found that among 136 marketplace health insurance plans, 11% of plans covering nine states had some coverage for drugs to treat obesity. Medicare policy excludes drug therapy for obesity. Seven state Medicare programs offer drug coverage.

The 2019 Health Reform and Health Mandates for Obesity note that:

  • 23 states have a specific health requirement to cover bariatric or gastric surgery
  • 16 states now include at least some coverage and reimbursement for dietary and nutritional screening, counseling, and therapy for obesity, and an additional seven states offer coverage if the diagnosis is related to obesity
  • 50 states are required to cover obesity screening for all adults and children
  • 42 states offer coverage for nutritional counseling, 23 states provide prescription therapy for obesity, and 43 states cover bariatric surgery for state employees

To determine whether your insurance covers Wegovy and your expected cost, contact your insurance company directly or navigate to this tool offered by Novo Nordisk.

If you have insurance with Wegovy coverage, you can save up to $228 per 28-day supply of Wegovy for up to 12 fills using their manufacturer discount card. If you have insurance but it does not cover Wegovy, you can save up to $500 per 28-day supply. You must register for this program by 12/31/23.

A pharmacist checking the semaglutide price

Semaglutide Price Without Insurance

If you do not have insurance coverage for Wegovy, check the pharmacy coupons offered by various online companies, such as GoodRx and SingleCare.

As long as semaglutide is on the drug shortage list, a prescription for compounded semaglutide is another option. The cost of compounded semaglutide from Invigor Medical is $370 per month. Wegovy has a retail price of $1,349 per month.

The Novo Nordisk Patient Assistance Program (PAP) offers cost reductions for those without health insurance. To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Have a total household income below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), or roughly $54,360 per year for a single household. The NeedyMeds website lists the current FPL guidelines.

Cost-saving Options

As with other medications, there are ways to save money when purchasing semaglutide. Some cost-saving options include:

  • Use a prescription discount coupon from GoodRx, SingleCare, or Optum Perks
  • If you have insurance, use a manufacturer savings card from Novo Nordisk
  • If you do not have insurance, see if you qualify for the Novo Nordisk Patient Assistance Program
  • Check with your insurance company to see if you can pre-qualify for semaglutide
  • Consult an online doctor at Invigor Medical about compounded semaglutide, as long as semaglutide is on the drug shortage list

Other Factors That Affect the Price of Semaglutide

Since a generic version of Wegovy, Ozempic, and Rybelsus will not be available for more than a decade, the two biggest factors that affect the price of semaglutide are whether it stays on the drug shortage list and whether insurance companies increase their coverage for obesity drugs.

Conclusion

Navigating the complexities of semaglutide pricing, whether considering brand names like Ozempic, Rybelsus, or Wegovy, highlights the importance of informed healthcare decisions. Invigor Medical offers a clear path to buy semaglutide, providing access to this medication with the support of healthcare professionals. To explore semaglutide options and to understand the financial considerations further, visit Invigor Medical for comprehensive guidance and support.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a 30 day supply of semaglutide?

The cost of a 30-day supply of semaglutide can vary depending on factors such as the brand, dosage, and location. It’s recommended to check with pharmacies or healthcare providers for specific pricing information.

How much does semaglutide cost through a compound pharmacy?

The cost of semaglutide through a compound pharmacy may vary depending on factors such as the formulation and any additional ingredients included in the compound. It’s advisable to inquire directly with the compound pharmacy for pricing details.

How much does semaglutide cost without insurance?

Without insurance coverage, the cost of semaglutide can be significant. Prices may vary depending on the brand, dosage, and pharmacy. Some pharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs or discounts for eligible individuals. It’s recommended to explore these options and discuss affordability with healthcare providers.

How to get semaglutide cheaper?

To potentially reduce the cost of semaglutide, individuals can explore various strategies such as utilizing manufacturer discounts or patient assistance programs, comparing prices at different pharmacies, considering generic alternatives if available, and discussing affordability concerns with healthcare providers to explore possible solutions or alternatives. Additionally, some online pharmacies may offer competitive pricing, but it’s crucial to ensure their legitimacy and safety before making a purchase.

Author: Leann Poston, M.D.
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