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1 in 8 U.S. Adults Have Taken Ozempic or Similar Drugs, According to a New Survey


Most adults (62%) say they have taken a GLP-1 drug to treat a chronic condition including diabetes or heart disease, while 43% say they have taken a GLP-1 primarily to lose weight

<p>Iuliia Burmistrova/Getty</p> A stock image of an injectable medication<p>Iuliia Burmistrova/Getty</p> A stock image of an injectable medication

Iuliia Burmistrova/Getty

A stock image of an injectable medication

As GLP-1 medications continue to make headlines as an increasingly popular tool for weight loss, a new survey reveals that one in eight adults in the United States has taken a GLP-1 drug like Ozempic or Mounjaro at some point in their life.

According to the new health tracking survey conducted by KFF during the last week in April, 6% of American adults — or more than 15 million people — are currently using such a drug.

Among those adults who have reported taking a GLP-1 medication in their lifetime, 43% have been told by a doctor that they have diabetes, 25% have been told they have heart disease and 22% have been told they are overweight or obese in the last five years.

Related: Stars Who’ve Spoken About Ozempic — and What They’ve Said

While most adults say they have taken GLP-1 drugs to treat a chronic condition including diabetes or heart disease (62%), about four in 10 adults say they have taken them primarily to lose weight.

Underscoring the cost-prohibitiveness of the medications for many Americans, more than half (54%) of the adults who have taken GLP-1 drugs say it was difficult to afford them, including one in five people (22%) who say it was “very difficult.” Although most insured adults who have taken these medications say their insurance covered at least part of the cost, about 53% of the insured people say the cost was still difficult to afford.

Overall, older adults — specifically those between the ages of 50 to 64 and those 65 and older — were most likely to have used GLP-1 drugs, with only 1% of the 65-and-over group reporting having taken the medications for weight loss. KFF noted that this finding may reflect Medicare’s lack of coverage for prescription drugs used for weight loss, despite four in 10 (37%) adults ages 65 and older saying they were told by a doctor they are overweight or obese in the past five years.

<p>Getty</p> A stock image of an injectable medication<p>Getty</p> A stock image of an injectable medication

Getty

A stock image of an injectable medication

While Medicare is currently prohibited by law from covering prescription drugs used for weight loss, six in 10 adults say they think Medicare policy should be changed to cover the cost of these medications when prescribed for weight loss for people who are clinically overweight.

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Younger adults, meanwhile, are more likely to use GLP-1 drugs solely for weight loss, according to the KFF study. About 7% of people ages 18 to 29 have taken a GLP-1, followed by 6% of people ages 30 to 49.

Related: Ozempic Face — and Now Ozempic Breast and Butt? What’s Really Going on with These Side Effects?

The survey also looked at how adults were obtaining the drugs, amid growing reports of shortages and limited availability as demand soars.

About eight in 10 (79%) adults report getting these drugs or a prescription for them from their primary care doctor or a specialist, while others sourced them from an online provider or website (11%), a medical spa or aesthetic medical center (10%) or somewhere else (2%).

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