Diabetes Dialogue: Tirzepatide Approved for Chronic Weight Management


In this episode, hosts discuss the FDA's approval of tirzeptiade (Zepbound) as an adjunct to lifestyle modification for the chronic weight management in people with overweight or obesity.

The US Food and Drug Administration's approval of tirzepatide (Zepbound) for chronic weight management on November 8, 2023 represents a historic milestone, not only for people with overweight and obesity, but the US public health system as a whole.

With increased body weight placing patients at risk for a host of comorbidities and estimates purporting obesity prevalence greater than 40% among US adults, interventions for safe and effective weight loss stand to have a significant impact on public health.

"Obesity is a chronic disease that can result in serious health complications, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Despite our knowledge of obesity as a treatable, chronic disease, people living with obesity still face many challenges in their health and weight management journey," said Joe Nadglowski, president and chief executive officer of the Obesity Action Coalition. "New treatment options bring hope to the many people with obesity who struggle with this disease and are seeking better options for weight management."

Based on the results of the SURMOUNT-1 and SURMOUNT-2 trials, which reported significant levels of weight loss among people, including weight loss of 25% or more among 1 in 3 people with overweight or obesity without type 2 diabetes, the approval comes less than just more than a year after the dual GLP-1/GIP agonist received approval as an adjunct to diet and exercise for improving glucose control in adults with type 2 diabetes.

According to Eli Lilly and Company, is expected to be available in the U.S. by the end of the year in 6 doses—2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, 15 mg, which are the same doses of tirzepatide (Mounjaro) for type 2 diabetes. The company pointed out the agent will be available at a list price of $1,059.87, which is approximately 20% less than semaglutide 2.4 mg for weight loss. The company will also be putting a commercial savings program in place where people who are commercially insured with coverage for the agent may be eligible to pay as low as $25 for a 1-month or 3-month prescription and people who are commercially insured without coverage for tirzepatide may be eligible to pay as low as $550 for a 1-month prescription, which is approximately 50% lower than the list price.

With an interest in celebrating the approval as well as offering perspective on what it means for patients and providers, alike, hosts Diana Isaacs, PharmD, an endocrine clinical pharmacist, director of Education and Training in Diabetes Technology, and codirector of Endocrine Disorders in Pregnancy at the Cleveland Clinic, and Natalie Bellini, DNP, program director of Diabetes Technology at University Hospitals Diabetes and Metabolic Care Center, sat down for a special edition episode of Diabetes Dialogue: Technology, Therapeutics, & Real-World Perspectives.

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