Drugs Health Pharma

Eli Lilly’s LillyDirect offers direct access to obesity medication

Novo Nordisk, a Danish drugmaker, announced its weight-loss medicine, Wegovy, will be available in the UK in a “controlled and limited” manner.

HQ team

January 6, 2024: Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical company will now be selling its weightless drug directly to the consumer via its initiative called LillyDirect.

This direct-to-patient portal aims to transform the accessibility and affordability of obesity medications, potentially changing the landscape for the 42 million Americans struggling with obesity.

The LillyDirect Initiative

LillyDirect will allow eligible patients to obtain their obesity medication for as low as $25 a month. The direct-to-patient approach through the telehealth platform FORM ensures a streamlined process, providing an alternative access complementing existing doctor-patient relationships. The platform will help connect patients with obesity, diabetes, and migraines to doctors who can prescribe medications including Mounjaro and Zepbound, the company said in a statement.

Costs for the medications vary depending on insurance coverage. Individuals with commercial insurance could secure a one-month or three-month supply for as little as $25 a month. For those without insurance coverage, the cost may be $550 for a one-month supply. While Eli Lilly officials have not commented on the initiative, obesity experts have expressed support for any program that enhances the availability and affordability of these medications, calling it a positive step forward.

Experts say that Eli Lilly is responding to a growing market need, but transparency between telehealth providers and the pharmaceutical company is crucial to avoid conflicts of interest.


While the LillyDirect initiative has garnered praise, concerns have been raised about direct-to-consumer approaches in obtaining prescription medications. The American College of Physicians says that an established patient-doctor relationship is necessary for prescriptions. Dr. Omar T. Atiq, the group’s president, emphasizes the potential for confusion and misinformation about medications with such direct-to-consumer services.

Benefits of weightless medicines

Recent research indicates that semaglutide, a key component of obesity medications like Wegovy, not only aids weight loss but also reduces the risk of recurrent strokes, heart attacks, and cardiovascular deaths. This development adds another layer of significance to the use of GLP-1 agonists in obesity treatment. The study’s findings suggest a potential shift in insurers’ perspective, given the long-term health benefits associated with these medications.

As of 2024, the landscape of insurance coverage for obesity medications is evolving. A survey indicates a potential doubling of coverage for GLP-1 medications in 2024, demonstrating a positive trend in recognizing the importance of these treatments.

Research suggests that obesity medications, including Zepbound, may require continuous use for most individuals to maintain weight loss. Withdrawal of medication could lead to weight regain, emphasizing the importance of continuous treatment for obesity, akin to other chronic conditions.

Some other companies, among them Teladoc Health, Ro, and Noon are also prescribing drugs made by Lilly and Novo Nordisk as demand soars.

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