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Can You Get Ozempic at Costco? Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Retail Giant's New Healthcare Offerings

Costco, a renowned wholesaler, has broadened its healthcare offerings to include a comprehensive weight loss program. Through a collaboration with Sesame, it now provides access to GLP-1 weight loss drugs like Ozempic, catering to the increasing demand for weight loss assistance among its US members.

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Costco Weight Loss Program Photo: Getty Images

Some individuals visit Costco for its $1.50 hot dogs, while others seek its $179 Ozempic prescriptions. The retail giant now provides its US members access to prescriptions for GLP-1 weight loss drugs through its low-cost healthcare partner Sesame.

Costco initially teamed up with Sesame last fall, offering members online health checkups starting at $29. After observing that approximately one in five customer inquiries pertained to weight loss assistance, Costco and Sesame collaborated on a new program to meet this demand.

“It wasn’t what we initially thought would make sense to offer for Costco members who were coming to Sesame,” he said. “But we realized pretty quickly, just by looking at what people were curious about, that there was a clear unmet need here,” Sesame co-founder and president Michael Botta told CNN.

The outcome, a renewable three-month program, was officially introduced on Tuesday. It includes a video consultation with a weight loss doctor or specialist, a GLP-1 or weight loss prescription if deemed appropriate, and ongoing support via unlimited messaging and guidance from a healthcare provider.

Sesame is capable of prescribing injectable semaglutides like Ozempic and Wegovy, as well as oral weight-loss medications. The company claims patients could shed 5% of their body weight in three months, 10% in six months, and 15% in a year. However, the medication cost is not covered in the $179 plan, with Sesame cautioning that GLP-1s can range from $950 to $1,600 per month without insurance.

GLP-1 prescription drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy have gained traction among wealthier demographics. Botta anticipates that offering this service to a segment of Costco’s 130 million cardholders can diversify its customer base.

“Increasingly, there is more interest among the mass affluent, among the middle class, among almost everybody,” he said. “Obesity is prevalent across every socioeconomic status in America. There are a lot of people who have this interest and who have this need and we saw that in the data.”

The interest in GLP-1 drugs is rising across various socioeconomic groups in America, as evidenced by the data. US healthcare providers issued over nine million prescriptions for Wegovy and other injectable weight loss drugs in the last quarter of 2022 alone. JPMorgan researchers predict that by 2030, approximately 30 million individuals, or roughly 9% of the US population, may be using GLP-1 drugs.

WeightWatchers introduced a new membership plan providing access to doctors who can prescribe these medications. Additionally, it completed a $100 million-plus acquisition of Sequence, a telehealth company offering virtual prescriptions for these weight loss drugs where suitable.

Luxury gym chains like Life Time are also incorporating weight loss clinics with prescribing doctors, while Equinox is crafting exercise programs tailored for individuals using these medications.