Mapped: U.S. states that want Ozempic the most

More people are turning to weight loss drugs like Ozempic to shed pounds - UnSplash +

Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey lead the way

Many Americans want to take Ozempic. People in some states want the weight-loss drug even more.

Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey claimed the top three spots for interest in Ozempic based on monthly Google searches of the drug per 100,000 residents, according to an analysis by Bison Pharmacy. There were nearly 71 searches per 100,000 people in Massachusetts, followed by nearly 69 in New York and 65 in New Jersey. 

At the bottom of the list are Mississippi, New Mexico and Alaska with fewer than 40 searches per 100,000 people. And although not a state, the District of Columbia pulled ahead of every state with nearly 138 searches per 100,000 residents. 

The searches come at a time when close to half of Americans say they would be interested in taking prescription weight-loss drugs like Ozempic, according to a July 2023 poll by KFF. Already, 6% of Americans say they have tried Ozempic, according to a separate poll out this month from Gallup.

Demand for Ozempic, which was first approved to treat type-2 diabetes, has surged in the U.S. on the hope the drug can significantly lower obesity and improve health outcomes for millions of people.

Nearly 40% of Americans were obese in 2016, according to the National Center of Health Statistics. Obesity often results in many other health issues, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

"A primary driver of Ozempic’s demand is the alarming obesity rate across many states,” Bison Pharmacy said. “The United States is currently facing a significant public health challenge, with obesity rates continuing to climb, affecting adults and children alike.”

Still, many non-obese Americans want to get on weight loss drugs just to shed stubborn pounds. Public opinion is divided on the issue. Some 53% of U.S. adults say weight-loss drugs are good options for people who are obese, but only 12% say they are good for people with no weight condition, according to a February poll by the Pew Research Center.

Ozempic also remains too expensive for many Americans and a cheaper, generic version isn’t expected until Dec. 2031. States may see higher-prescription rates of Ozempic if more patients are getting medical advice and treatment under their insurance, Bison Pharmacy said.

“States with robust healthcare systems and higher rates of insured individuals tend to have better screening and diagnosis rates for conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Bison Pharmacy said.

Even so, the drug won’t solve America’s problems with weight, food and health.

“Patients must combine medication with lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, under close medical supervision,” Bison Pharmacy said.

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