The GLP-1 RAs Wegovy, Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Zepbound have taken up more real estate on the US map in some areas than others. Click to find out more.
Approximately 21 people for every 1000 in the state of Kentucky have been prescribed a GLP-1 receptor agonist from the short list of very popular antiobesity and type 2 diabetes drugs (T2D), according to reporting on Axios. That is the highest rate of any state in the country and based on insurance claims data collected by PurpleLab, a health analytics company.
Louisiana and Mississippi are among the handful of other southern states with the highest prescribing rates for the most well known drugs in the category - Ozempic and Wegovy (semaglutide; Novo Nordisk). The data also include prescriptions written for Mounjaro (T2D) and Zepbound (weight management), both from Eli Lilly and containing the GLP-1 RA tirzepatide.
Data from the CDC indicate that the higher prescribing patterns in these states align with the greater prevalence of both diseases in the US south.
Axios reporters point out that because the data aggregate prescriptions, it's not possible to discern how often the drugs were prescribed for obesity vs for T2D. Nor does the analysis account for how long individuals took the medications. Reed also adds a note on celebrity promotion of weight loss using the medications noting that if "it seems that California's prescribing rate is lower than expected, the data doesn't pick up prescriptions that were paid for in cash." More on the Axios report, here.
Source: Reed T. United States of Ozempic: Where anti-obesity drugs are taking off. Axios Vitals. January 18, 2024. Accessed January 19, 2024. https://www.axios.com/2024/01/18/ozempic-wegovy-weight-loss-drugs-states-map