The Mayo Clinic is launching a telemedicine service to prescribe weight loss drugs as a part of the health system’s weight loss program.
The Mayo Clinic’s weight loss program — called The Mayo Clinic Diet — provides individuals with food and exercise-related tools to help them lose weight, and it now features an additional telemedicine service that offers access to GLP-1 weight loss medications.
The service, called the Mayo Clinic Diet Medical Weight Loss Rx Program, is being billed as "complete clinical weight management that combines [their] proven online program with access to weight loss medications."
Those who utilize the service and are deemed eligible will meet virtually with a board-certified clinician from Amwell Medical Group and receive a prescription for the right weight-loss medication, such as FDA-approved GLP-1s.
Members will also have access to the Mayo Clinic Diet’s regular offerings, including a customizable meal plan, personalized habit tracker, group coaching, how-to videos, food and exercise journal, and more.
Additionally, members will learn how to balance their meals, build healthy habits, and manage the side effects of weight-loss medications.
The program costs $129.99 per month plus a $99.99 start fee. That price reduces to $89.99 or $79.99 per month for those who commit to six or 12 months, respectively. While the program is in its beta phase, the monthly fee is reduced to $20. The cost of medication is separate and not included in the membership fee.
"Weight loss medications are not an easy way out," Mayo Clinic physician Andres J. Acosta, M.D., Ph.D., said in a statement. "They are not a magic pill...to banish our extra weight. These medications help us to stick to a low calorie diet, fight back hunger, and make us feel full. That way, it is easier to commit to these important lifestyle changes."
The new offering comes amid a sharp rise in demand for weight loss drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy — drugs that don’t come cheap without insurance.
A rising trend of telehealth startups offering weight loss medications directly to consumers is also emerging to meet the demand for these medications, which has swept Hollywood and social media in recent months.