Expanded Coverage of Weight Loss Drugs? Diabetes Advocates Say Yes


Medicare just announced that it will pay for weight loss drugs if patients using them also have heart disease and need to reduce the risk of future heart attacks and strokes. Medicare has already been covering the costs of the GLP-1 class of drugs to treat diabetes problems. However, Medicare Part D plans are still restricted by law from covering obesity medications used for chronic weight management alone.

It’s a decision the American Diabetes Association would like to see overturned. “It really is important that we try to get upstream of diseases…we know that obesity is a disease and it’s a bigger driver to the increasing number of people developing diabetes…it’s important that people have access to treatments that are effective. Medicare isn’t covering that [obesity] treatment and that’s something we’ve been advocating for,” says Dr. Robert Gabbay, chief scientific and medical officer for the American Diabetes Association

Dr. Gabbay also tells hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter that anybody with diabetes on insulin should have access to a continuous glucose monitor and the ADA is proud that it helped secured Medicare coverage for such monitors.

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