“Access to medicines for the treatment of obesity is dismal in this country,” mentioned Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, an weight problems medication specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
But even when a affected person’s insurer will cowl weight reduction medication, most medical doctors don’t recommend the medication and most sufferers don’t ask for them, as they fail to appreciate there are good remedy choices, mentioned Dr. Scott Kahan, an weight problems medication specialist in Washington, D.C. And, he added, even when medical doctors and sufferers know there are F.D.A. authorised medication, many suppose they’re “unsafe or not well studied and that everyone regains their weight.”
The medical system bears a lot of the blame, Dr. Stanford mentioned. Just 1 percent of doctors within the United States are educated in weight problems medication. “It’s the biggest chronic disease of our time, and no one is learning anything about it,” she mentioned.
Data on treatment use by sufferers predate the newer, simpler and secure medication made by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly. Still, weight problems medication medical doctors say, they doubt that the quantity has modified a lot from the sooner research that discovered that less than 1 percent who’re eligible obtained one in all these medication. That is concerning the same percentage as those that get bariatric surgical procedure, which most insurers, together with Medicare, pay for.
“The perception is, ‘If you are heavy, pull yourself up from your bootstraps and try harder,’” Dr. Kahan mentioned.
And that, he provides, is a notion many sufferers, in addition to medical doctors, share, making them reluctant to hunt medical assist or prescription drugs.