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Saxenda Now Available

Posted: May 11 in Weight Loss Medication by

Saxenda Now AvailableSaxenda, the newest FDA-approved prescription weight loss medication, is now available at retail pharmacies.

We are excited to announce the availability of another new and novel treatment to help you lose weight and keep it off permanently. Saxenda is a once daily injectable medication. It contains a compound similar to a substance your body makes naturally called glucagon-like peptide 1, or GLP-1. Have you ever noticed that about 20 minutes after you eat a meal, especially one rich in protein and/or fat, you feel a sense of fullness? Your small intestine releases GLP-1 in response to your meal, and this has a direct effect on the appetite center of your brain, signaling that the meal is over and that you shouldn’t be hungry.

GLP-1 type medications have been successfully used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes for the past decade, and now we have one that has been specifically studied and approved as an adjunct to healthy eating and activity for chronic weight management. In 4 clinical trials of over 5000 patients, those treated with Saxenda lost 8% body weight compared with 2.6% for placebo at 56 weeks of treatment. Saxenda also improved the odds of losing at least 5% and at least 10% body weight.

The molecule comprising Saxenda, liraglutide, has been marketed as Victoza for the treatment of type 2 diabetes at doses up to 1.8 mg per day since 2010. Saxenda is the same molecule but is dosed at 3 mg per day.

The product will have a boxed warning stating that thyroid C-cell tumors have been seen in rodents but that the risk in humans is not known. Liraglutide should not be used in patients with a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2. It will also have warnings regarding acute pancreatitis, and should be avoided in those with a history of pancreatitis or at high risk for pancreatitis.

Because this is expected to be an expensive medication (~$1,100 per month), it is important for you to see if you have insurance coverage for this medication. If you are a candidate (BMI > 30 or > 27 with medical comorbidity) and have insurance coverage, you are encouraged to obtain any paperwork your insurance company will require and schedule a visit with Dr. Lazarus or Heather Thomas, P.A. –c to see if Saxenda might be right for you.

Comments

43 Responses to “Saxenda Now Available”
  • Mariea says:

    I have 2 insurances and neither covers it. The PI supposedly states BMI of 40. At that rate I’d just as soon have gastric bypass. I did victoza for weight and worked in a drs office. It was great. I was hoping to do saxenda. Why make the product impossible to get?

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Yes currently only about 1 in 3 insurance companies cover Saxenda for obesity treatment, which is too bad. The PI of Saxenda states BMI over 30, or over 27 with a comorbidity. Usually insurance coverage is determined by the employer – if your employer covers your health insurance, request that they add the coverage for Saxenda. Victoza can be covered for diabetes or pre-diabetes. It is the same molecule, but a lower dose than Saxenda (1.2 or 1.8 mg for Victoza, 3.0 mg for Saxenda). The patients I have on Saxenda have gotten it covered by their insurance and are doing extremely well – I am so happy to have such an effective treatment option available.

  • Glenna Ward says:

    I was prescribed Saxenda for awhile n it worked wonders but now my insurance doesn’t cover it but I still have a prescription on file for it so is there anyway I can get someone to send me the starter kit till I can find some way to get approved through my insurance?

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Glenna – we do occasionally have sample kits, but generally only get 1 or 2 a quarter. If you need help call the office at 303-750-9454 and we can help with approval process. Also, Saxenda has a new tool online at http://www.saxendacoverage.com. This tool makes it easy to see if you have coverage or not. You can also call your insurance company pharmacy card number. If you don’t have coverage we won’t be able to get it approved. If not covered, there are other good options as well. Hope this helps. Dr. L

  • Melissa Garrison says:

    I was on saxenda but my insurance company won’t approce it and I lost 30LBS being on it. I love it and would love to be back on just not sure how to do it and my doctor has sent p.a to insurance company but won’t accept it.

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      I have sometimes had luck approving with letter stating that stopping is medically inappropriate, but unfortunately, insurers generally either cover it or they don’t. This is determined by the employer, not the insurance company. If your coverage changed, you should actually speak with your employer – here in Colorado, we have good coverage in our hospitals and technology companies, but lousy coverage in smaller companies. Coverage for Saxenda falls under “Lifestyle Medicine” – the employer needs to opt into this. Default is that it is NOT covered. Alternatively, could try a different anti-obesity medication like Contrave, Belviq, Tenuate, Phentermine, etc. Sometimes insurance companies use a tiered approach – want you to try one of the oral medications prior to the Saxenda. If no contraindications, Tenuate, Phentermine and Contrave all highly effective. Hope this helps…

  • Carrie says:

    My insurance doesn’t cover Saxenda, but covers Victoza. When my doctor submitted the Victoza for approval, my insurance denied it. What’s left to do?

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Hi Carrie – Saxenda is indicated for chronic weight management, while Victoza is indicated for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. If desiring Saxenda for weight loss and insurance not covering, options are to use the Novo coupon, or send me a message through the contact us form on the web site, and I can send you some more ideas on obtaining it. If not covered the issue is your EMPLOYER, not your insurance. The default for weight loss medications is that employers are opted out. They are a sub-bullet under lifestyle medications. If desiring current weight loss / anti-obesity medications, ask the EMPLOYER to opt in to coverage. Hope this helps.

  • Sharon hector says:

    Hello..
    My insurance doesn’t cover Saxenda..I really want to try this med before trying to coming up with the money for something I’m not sure will work .I would like a free trial or can I just pay for 1pin to see if it works..The prescription is pretty high I would have to get a loan.
    I do have a prescription that was denied..
    Please help

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      I usually recommend calling your insurance and see if it is covered for you. We do generally have sample pens (free) for our patients that we can use if we want to try it before buying it. Patients with coverage usually only spend about $25-$35 / month. Without coverage it can be $1000-$1200 per month, but I have found a pharmacy where we can get it for less than half of that, and have other strategies I use to control cost. The other weight loss medications are also effective and far more cost effective if you don’t have coverage to use Saxenda as a weight loss medication. Hope this helps!

  • Tia says:

    I have been on several medications such as Trokendi XR, Qysmia, Phentermine, Contrave, and another medication I can not recall. My physician would like me to try Saxenda (18ml) because I have a heart condition and most medications are considered stimulants. However, my prescription coverage does not all coverage for the medication. Currently, I am 4’11 and almost 185lbs (with several medical conditions). Are there any discount programs were I would be able to pay a lower price for the medication? I just need to try something that will not cause additional issues with my heart condition and not cause me to go in debt!
    Please advise.

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Thank you so much for the message. Yes there are some less expensive ways to get Saxenda. I will send you a private message with some more information… However, for those with coverage, most people pay around $25 per month, and some are even free. Here in Colorado, many of the large employers offer coverage – I’ve seen employees of hospitals have coverage (Rose, Swedish, Skyridge, Children’s), lots of tech companies (Lockhead Martin, Comcast, Century Link), some Oil and Gas companies, some financial companies (Fidelity) and so on.

  • Brigitte says:

    can you send me information on how to get saxenda at a cheaper price also. I’m having the same issues as the previous lady.

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Hello – coverage is determined by employer. Request your employer add coverage for anti-obesity medications. I have had patients report to me that they are able to get a good price at this pharmacy: rxcanada4less.com

  • Christy says:

    I am interested in Saxenda, unfortunately my insurance does not cover it. Any suggestions?

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Hello – coverage is determined by employer. Request your employer add coverage for anti-obesity medications. I have had patients report to me that they are able to get a good price at this pharmacy: rxcanada4less.com

  • Nicole says:

    My doctor just sent a request for sexenda and it was denied(so frustrating!). I have a BMI of over 30 and RA, high cholesterol and history of heart attack with immediate family. I am a surviving spouse and I have tricare. It’s so frustrating to have insurance overrule what a doctor says. Any tips would be great! Thanks

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Sorry, but many insurance companies do not cover anti-obesity medications. This coverage is determined by the employer providing the insurance, not by the insurance company itself. Some of our patients have had success ordering from Mike’s Marine pharmacy at significant cost savings (I do not endorse, affiliate with or recommend any particular pharmacy, but have heard that they have good pricing).

  • Mag says:

    My Dr recommended saxenda. I don’t have insurance due to Covid but did research and learned of mikes marine pharmacy. My Dr refuses to send to Canada… i don’t understand why. Is there a medical reason not to send to a Canadian pharmacy

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Thanks for the question. I do not know what rules govern your doctor / state / etc. I give written prescriptions to my patients and they are allowed to fill those prescriptions wherever they’d like. I do not police which pharmacy my patient chooses to use. Perhaps just ask your doctor for a written prescription that you can fill wherever you’d like? You can inquire with the pharmacy you found and see if there are any special rules or requirements. Thanks again for the question – coverage for Saxenda is a major issue. The AMA is meeting this weekend – I do have a resolution calling on the AMA to fight towards improving access to these important medications, but access does remain a challenge. Coverage is not allowed under Medicare. Under private insurance, coverage is determined by the employer. With January and insurance renewals around the corner, you could also speak to your benefits provider about whether there might be a plan which includes coverage for anti-obesity medications. My patients with insurance coverage pay on average only around $25 per month for the Saxenda. All the best.

  • Von says:

    My insurance do not covered saxenda. You mention Rxcanada4less.com. On there website it states :Important Note: Rxcanada4less.com, DOES NOT sell or ship any controlled substances or narcotics of any kind to the United States. Is there any other site that offer saxenda for a reasonable price?

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Saxenda is not a controlled substance (it is a prescription medication), but not controlled. If getting prescription from your doctor, be sure he/she remembers to also prescribe the needles – the Saxenda does not include the needles! We usually write for the novofine 32g needles, use as directed, #100 with refills. Tough to use the Saxenda without them!

  • Meredith Billings says:

    Hello, I came across your page in searching for help finding a Canadian pharmacy to refill my prescription. I was initially prescribed Saxenda last October on the ap Push Health. I paid out of pocket for the 15 pens and lost 20 pounds- from 191 down to 170. I was hoping that my prescription coverage this year would cover the refill but the prior authorization was denied because it is not in the formulary. Push health won’t give me a written prescription- at this point all that I have is a refill prescription waiting at Walgreens which I can’t afford. Is it possible for me to become a telehealth patient of yours, as you allow patients to fill prescriptions where they choose? I live in florida.

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      I’m so sorry that I am not able to practice medicine in Florida – Florida requires me to obtain a Florida licensure to practice telemedicine, which I have not done. I have heard that Mike’s Marine pharmacy out of Canada is reputable; however, I can not vouch for any one pharmacy over another. If you do not live here in Colorado, there is a physician locator tab at the Obesity Medicine Association’s web site at http://www.obesitymedicine.org.

  • Ecenia says:

    Hi, I’m having the same issue as everyone else. My insurance is giving me a hard time. I am also looking into working with my employer on this issue. However, I’m wondering if the doctor that practices in Colorado- could do a video visit with me? I live in NY.

  • Ecenia says:

    Thank you!

  • Stephanie Carpenter says:

    I did a sample of saxenda and it worked well. The pharmacy states this prescription will cost $1600. Please help me find a way to get it cheaper. Thank you

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Please see previous answers. Can also try goodrx. Talk to your employer about adding coverage for anti-obesity medications as well if that is a possibility. Also see saxenda.com for coupons.

  • JB says:

    Hi, You mentioned you know a pharmacy that is half the cost for cash paying customers for Saxenda. Can you please provide the name?

    Thanks!

  • KB says:

    My insurance will not cover it and my doctor is suggesting it. I need help with the cost. I see 1300 monthly. Any help to figure out to lower the cost. Also my employer is not willing to change type of insurance. Please help.

  • HannahR says:

    Hello, I tried the rxcanada4less.com and they provide saxenda for half the price it cost in the United States. It cost $1000-$1200 here in the States and this pharmacy dispenses it for $490.

  • Ann says:

    My doctor wants to prescribe Saxenda for me but I have Medicare and Medicaid in Texas. I had gastric bypass in 2005 and did well losing 65 pounds walking daily and protein shakes for meal replacement. Several years later I had a hysterectomy putting me into Surgical Menopause. In 2010 I found a doctor who put me on Bio Identical HRT including NP Thyroid. I’m now weighing 190 and 5’2. How do I navigate this to get coverage or free Rx Saxenda?
    Thank you!

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      I believe previous responses address this question. Saxenda is quite expensive if you do not have insurance coverage. Further, we need to remove the Medicare ban on anti-obesity medications – so call your senators, and ask them to support the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act, which would remove the out of date Medicare rule classifying obesity as a cosmetic condition, and allow Medicare plans to add coverage for medications like Saxenda (and the newly announced Wegovy).

  • Mare says:

    Hi! I am interested in using this weight loss injection. However, I called my insurance company and it is not covered. I am from Miami, can you tell me how can I try this Med?

    Thanks

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Speak to your employer about adding coverage for anti-obesity medications, then see an obesity medicine specialist to have it prescribed. Unfortunately, without coverage, it will be quite expensive.

  • Tammi says:

    I’ve been on Saxenda, paying out of pocket. I hear wegovy is better I don’t know how to buy it anymore because UK pharmacy isn’t shipping to us anymore and saxenda is so expensive my provider SAID she tried for prior authorization (I even paid her to) and she said it was denied but I don’t think she called. Can’t I just pay someone a prescriber to hear my case and be paid to do pre authorizations?

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      1) Coverage of these medications is determined by the employer that provides the medical insurance – check with your employer.
      2) I have never charged patients to complete prior auth – that is probably not the issue – the issue is more likely that you do not have coverage for this class of medications – again, call your insurance.
      3) Check wegovy.com – there is a special program offering $25/month x 6 months for people with commercial insurance and coverage for this class of medications.
      4) Current wholesale price of Wegovy is ~$1,300 per month. I do not believe it is available in other countries like Canada or the UK, yet.

      Hope that helps, and sorry for the frustration.

  • Wanda says:

    I have Medicare I’m on disability . I was on saxenda and it worked for me but now Medicare won’t pay for it. Is there anyway I can get it, I can’t afford $1200 dollars. I was getting it for $25.00. So sad I have ibm of 30, I have try everything and this really worked for me.

    • Dr. Lazarus says:

      Sorry to hear about this. Google TROA – stands for “Treat and reduce obesity act.” This act would remove the Medicare prohibition on payment for anti-obesity medications (weight loss medications). It is a real problem that folks like you are denied coverage for this entire class of treatments due to an old and out-of-date Medicare provision that won’t allow payment for “Cosmetic conditions including hair loss and weight loss.”

  • Brandy says:

    I have ordered from Marks Marine several times for Saxenda. They are great and easy to work with. Although still expensive, it will cost a little over $500 for a month’s supply compared to $1500 full prices in the states.

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