BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Costco begins offering Ozempic prescriptions to some members

Apr 2, 2024, 6:30 PM

Costco and its low-cost health care partner Sesame have launched a weight loss program that include...

Costco and its low-cost health care partner Sesame have launched a weight loss program that includes prescriptions for medications like Ozempic, when appropriate. (Mario Tama/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

(Mario Tama/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

New York (CNN) — Some people go to Costco for its $1.50 hot dogs, others for its $179 Ozempic prescriptions.

The warehouse retailer is now offering its US members access to prescriptions for GLP-1 weight loss drugs. It will offer them through its low-cost health care partner Sesame.

Costco first partnered with Sesame, a direct-to-consumer health care marketplace that connects medical providers nationwide with consumers. Last fall when it began offering its members online health checkups for as low as $29.

But about two months after that announcement, Costco and Sesame noticed that about one in five customer inquiries was about weight-loss help. They began working on a new program to address that interest, Sesame co-founder and president Michael Botta told CNN.

“It wasn’t what we initially thought would make sense to offer for Costco members who were coming to Sesame,” he said. “But we realized pretty quickly, just by looking at what people were curious about, that there was a clear unmet need here,” he said.

The fruit of their labor, a renewable three-month program, officially launched on Tuesday and includes a video consultation with a weight loss doctor or specialist, a GLP-1 or weight loss prescription, if appropriate, and ongoing support through unlimited messaging and guidance with a health care provider.

Sesame says it is able to prescribe injectable semaglutides, including Ozempic and Wegovy, as well as oral weight-loss medications. The company advertises that patients could lose 5% of their body weight in just three months, 10% in six months and 15% in a year.

The cost of medication is not included in the $179 three-month plan. Sesame warned on its website that without insurance, GLP-1s can cost between $950 and $1,600 per month.

Ozempic for weight loss 

Ozempic, Wegovy and other GLP-1 prescription drugs have already swept through wealthier demographics of the country.

Botta hopes that offering this service to a portion Costco’s 130 million cardholders can help broaden its customer base.

“Increasingly, there is more interest among the mass affluent, among the middle class, among almost everybody,” he said. “Obesity is prevalent across every socioeconomic status in America. There are a lot of people who have this interest and who have this need and we saw that in the data.”

US health care providers wrote more than nine million prescriptions for Wegovy and other injectable drugs used for weight loss during the last three months of 2022 alone. JPMorgan researchers estimate that 30 million people may be taking GLP-1 drugs by 2030. That’s around 9% of the US population.

WeightWatchers launched a new membership plan that gives members access to doctors who can prescribe these medications. It also made a $100 million-plus deal to buy Sequence, a telehealth business that can offer virtual prescriptions, where appropriate, to patients for these weight loss drugs.

Luxury gyms such as Life Time are also acquiring weight loss clinics with doctors who can prescribe GLP-1s, while Equinox is designing exercise programs specifically for people taking the medications.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Business + Economy

Signs are posted for the 2024 Sundance Film Festival on Main Street in Park City on Thursday, Jan. ...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

Sundance Institute seeks proposals for future location of film festival

The institute is asking for formal proposals in an initial information-gathering period.

5 hours ago

alaska airlines flights...

KSL NewsRadio staff

FAA briefly grounds all Alaska Airlines flights, stop now lifted

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a nationwide ground stop for Alaska Airlines without giving a reason on Wednesday.

8 hours ago

Childcare unaffordable...

Eric Cabrera

Unaffordable childcare plagues Utah families

Childcare in Utah is becoming unaffordable for many Utah parents as costs for care are outpacing inflation.

9 hours ago

Disneyland expansion...

AMY TAXIN Associated Press

Southern California city council gives a key approval for Disneyland expansion plan

It would be the biggest expansion of Disney's Southern California theme parks in decades, aiming to create more immersive experiences for guests.

10 hours ago

two skiers shown, ski industry in utah has a big economic impact...

Sam Herrera

LISTEN: How the ski industry in Utah impacts the state

Anyone in Utah knows how big the ski industry is, but do they know what it means for the state's economy?

1 day ago

The rear fuselage section of a 777, boeing whistleblower alleges manufacturing issues...

Chris Isidore and Pete Muntean, CNN

Boeing defends its planes’ safety ahead of whistleblower hearing

The FAA is looking into allegations raised by whistleblower and Boeing engineer Sam Salehpour that Boeing took shortcuts when manufacturing certain jets.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Costco begins offering Ozempic prescriptions to some members