Opinion | Wegovy, Zepbound and other weight-loss drugs should be available to all
Limiting demand would be a daunting challenge because almost half the U.S. population meets the Food and Drug Administration criteria for taking them: They have either a body mass index of at least 30 (obesity) or a BMI of 27 (overweight) and at least one weight-related ailment (diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, for example). Not everyone who qualifies will want the drugs, of course, and many who start taking them will quit. A recent study found that 68 percent of patients stop within a year of starting — presumably, this is at least in part because of unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects. But demand is already so high, the drugmakers are having trouble keeping up.