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📦 Prime Time at Henry! 📦 $100 Off All GLP-1 Weight Management →

📦 Prime Time at Henry! 📦 $100 Off All GLP-1 Weight Management →

How to Cut Costs While Waiting for a Liraglutide Generic Medication to Enter the Market

Published

Mar 20, 2024

A safe alternative to Liraglutide generic drugs

Liraglutide bottole with a syringe and money
Liraglutide bottole with a syringe and money
Liraglutide bottole with a syringe and money

Liraglutide is the generic name for the active ingredient of SaxendaⓇ, one of the most effective weight-loss medications on the market.¹ Yet because of its popularity, this product is quite expensive and currently in shortage, making it difficult for patients to obtain it by ordinary means.²

Liraglutide vial and syringe

A Liraglutide generic version can solve this drug’s accessibility problems; the first one is expected to be launched in the market by June 2024.³ However, not everyone can afford to wait that long to cut costs and ensure a steady medication supply.

We encourage you to read on if you’re in the same boat. This article explains Liraglutide’s performance as a weight loss medication and the issues that could set back the launch of its generic version. We also discuss ways to cut Liraglutide costs and how Henry Meds can help ensure you get this drug affordably, safely, and conveniently.

What Is Liraglutide, and How Does It Help You Lose Weight?

Liraglutide belongs to the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist drug class,⁴ meaning that it mimics the regular human hormone GLP-1 in form and function. GLP-1’s actions include appetite suppression, insulin stimulation, glucagon inhibition, and slower digestion. Together, these effects reduce caloric intake, which is essential for weight reduction.

Natural GLP-1 stays active in the body for only a few minutes.⁴ After that, digestive enzymes in the tissues break it down before it gets excreted in the kidneys. The same tissue enzymes can degrade Liraglutide, but only slowly because of its slight structural differences from natural GLP-1.⁴ So, patients only need to inject Liraglutide once a day.

How Effective Is Liraglutide for Weight Management?

Studies show that Liraglutide is more effective than placebo in reducing body weight in people with weight loss resistance or a weight-related medical condition. One clinical trial revealed that 3.0mg daily injections of the brand-name Liraglutide combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet can help individuals lose 8.0% of their body weight in 56 weeks.⁵

Additionally, the trial demonstrated that Liraglutide can help people reach greater than 5%, even 10%, weight reduction within the same period.⁵ Weight loss of at least 5-10% is enough to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals with weight loss resistance.⁶

Consulting Online for Liraglutide Treatment

Is Semaglutide Better Than Liraglutide?

Semaglutide is a GLP-1 medication taken once weekly. This drug has the same actions as Liraglutide but stays active far longer in the body. Research shows that Semaglutide is more effective in reducing body weight in people with weight loss resistance but without diabetes.

One clinical trial directly compared the effects of 2.4mg weekly Semaglutide injections with 3.0mg once-daily Liraglutide dosing. After 68 weeks, participants on Semaglutide lost 15.8% of their body weight, which is higher than the Liraglutide group’s 6.4%.⁷

A real-world study investigated these medications separately. Once-weekly injections of 2.4mg brand-name Semaglutide can help patients lose 10.9% of their body weight after 6 months. By comparison, once-daily 3.0mg brand-name Liraglutide injections can cause a 7.1% body weight reduction over the same period.⁸

Is Liraglutide Better Than Non-GLP-1 Weight-Loss Treatment Options?

A meta-analysis compared the effects of Liraglutide to those of commonly prescribed non-GLP-1 weight loss medications.⁹ The study showed that the phentermine-topiramate drug combination was more effective than Liraglutide, although both could make patients lose greater than 5% of their body weight after 52 weeks. Liraglutide’s weight-reducing effect is comparable to the naltrexone-bupropion combination but superior to orlistat in weight management.⁹

What Are the Side Effects of Liraglutide?

Clinical trials showed that brand-name Liraglutide’s most common adverse effects were mild-to-moderate nausea and diarrhea.⁵ These symptoms occurred in the first four to eight weeks of treatment and improved afterward. This finding is consistent with previous reports that brand-name Liraglutide caused mostly transient gastrointestinal reactions.⁵

However, intake of this GLP-1 receptor agonist is also associated with the following potential complications:¹

  • Acute pancreatitis

  • Acute gallbladder disease

  • Allergic reaction

  • Hypoglycemia (below-normal blood sugar levels) when combined with anti-diabetic medications

  • Increased heart rate

  • Renal failure

  • Behavioral changes

  • Medullary thyroid carcinoma

  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2

Provider taking a patient's blood pressure

Liraglutide is generally safe, but these potential complications make it necessary to screen patients before starting treatment. During treatment , patients must take this medication under medical supervision to ensure effectiveness and safety. At Henry Meds, you can rest assured that the medical providers on our platform will prescribe you a suitable weight loss regimen and track your progress diligently.

What Brand of Liraglutide Is Used for Weight Loss?

Liraglutide is marketed under two brand names. The first is VictozaⓇ, which is FDA-approved for blood glucose control in children aged 10 years or older¹⁰ and adults¹¹ with Type II Diabetes Mellitus. This product may also help people reduce weight, and it’s possible that specialists have prescribed it off-label for chronic weight management.¹² The list price for VictozaⓇ ranges from $543.51 to $815.27 per month.¹³

The second is SaxendaⓇ, which is FDA-approved for weight management in adults with weight loss resistance or a weight-related condition.¹ In 2020, the FDA extended this product’s approved indications to pediatric patients with chronic weight gain aged 12 and older.¹⁴ The list price for the 3.0-mg injectable is $1,349.02 per month.¹⁵ 

However, SaxendaⓇ currently poses an accessibility problem for patients. Besides its prohibitive price, this in-demand product is currently in shortage — possibly a domino effect of the WegovyⓇ supply disruptions.¹⁶

Clinicians may prescribe VictozaⓇ off-label in place of SaxendaⓇ, but insurers don’t usually pay for off-label drug use.¹⁷ No Liraglutide generic product is currently on the market, so sustaining supplies can be a problem for many individuals needing this medication.

When Will Generic Liraglutide Be Available?

The availability of generic drug products depends on several factors. First, the patent holder’s exclusive marketing rights must have already expired by the time the generic drug product launches. Second, the generic drug manufacturer must have an FDA-approved abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) when the original drug’s marketing exclusivity lapses.

Liraglutide Self-Injection

Third, the patent holder must recognize the ANDA’s eligibility. This part of the process is a potential cause of generic drug manufacturing delays, as patent holders can challenge ANDAs and counter with a patent infringement. Unless the FDA deems the original patent expired or invalid, generic drug availability can be postponed for another 30 months.¹⁸

In the case of Victoza®, the Israeli firm Teva Pharmaceutical was the first company to have an FDA-approved Liraglutide ANDA. Teva filed the document on February 2, 2017.¹⁹ Novo Nordisk tried challenging the ANDA but settled the case on March 18, 2019.²⁰

The case settlement would have put the generic Liraglutide launch date to December 2023. However, expanding the indications of Victoza® to the pediatric population on June 17, 2019¹⁰ postponed the release date once more to June 2024.

Since then, Mylan and Pfizer have also applied for the right to market generic Liraglutide. These two companies are also expected to launch their own generic Liraglutide products no earlier than June 2024.³

How Can You Get Liraglutide Affordably?

Not everyone can afford to wait for Liraglutide generic products to be available. Weight loss resistance has serious health consequences if left unaddressed, and lifestyle intervention alone is not enough for many individuals.⁵ Below are the ways to cut Liraglutide costs and their pros and cons.

Compounded Liraglutide Delivery

Manufacturer-Sponsored Discount Programs

A recent study revealed that manufacturer-sponsored savings programs are really not reliably continuous, to the detriment of patients with a chronic condition like or weight loss resistance. The report added that the creation of these discount programs depends on pharmaceutical companies’ business interests.²¹

Third-Party Discount Programs

Pharmacies and some online health service providers give away non-manufacturer-sponsored discounts. The savings offers may be provided for free or as part of a paid subscription. The main limitation of these discount programs is that patients can still end up paying high out-of-pocket costs due to medication price fluctuations and terms preventing them from combining insurance with discount coupons.²²

Health Savings Accounts

Health savings accounts (HSAs) are tax-exempt funds individuals can set up to pay for medical expenses. Patients on Liraglutide may use these funds to reimburse weight loss medications if prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional. However, opening an HSA requires enrollment in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), which can still increase patients’ overall out-of-pocket medical costs.²³

Purchasing the Medication Online or Abroad

People have also turned to unlicensed online pharmacies and international sellers to purchase prescription drugs. Consumers’ motivations to buy from these sources include convenience, speed, affordability, and privacy.²⁴ However, the FDA warns that counterfeit medications are often sold through these channels. Intake of fake drugs may be harmful to one’s health.²⁵

Friends working out together

Some of the Liraglutide cost-cutting methods we just explained aren’t available to many, while others are simply unsustainable. Meanwhile, Henry Meds’ solution to the Liraglutide accessibility problem is convenient, much more affordable, and safe. Additionally, the medical providers in the Henry Meds network will work with you to help with your health goals.

What Is Pharmaceutical Compounding?

Pharmaceutical compounding is the practice of tailoring a drug formulation to a patient’s needs. One practical use of compounding is combining different medications in one formulation to help older individuals comply easily with their dosing schedules.²⁶

A more valuable role of compounding in the American healthcare system is ensuring a steady medication supply amid times of shortage.²⁴ FD&C Act provisions ensure that consumers get high-quality compounded medicine. One of those provisions requires that only state-licensed pharmacists are allowed to compound medicines and in FD&C-compliant facilities only.²⁷

How Can Henry Meds Help Make Sure You Get Liraglutide Affordably and Conveniently?

Henry Meds can help you complete your Liraglutide regimen and achieve your healthy weight . Our platform connects you to a vast network of US-licensed medical practitioners and compounding pharmacies. Clinicians using our platform will give you a medical evaluation and prescribe this GLP-1 agonist if it’s suitable for you. After that, a compounding pharmacist in our network will fill your prescription. All you need to do is wait for your medicine in the mail.

Our signup process is easy. First, choose a program on the Henry Meds website and indicate your location and appointment time. Second, create an account and add your payment information. Third, fill out our online medical intake form. You will receive an email with your appointment date and time and the link to the online medical visit platform.

Fourth, attend your online consultation appointment with one of the esteemed healthcare providers in the Henry Meds network. The provider will prescribe you the medication if they think it is suitable for you. Fifth, wait for your delivery of Compounded Liraglutide.

A follow-up questionnaire will be emailed to you if it’s time for your refill. The provider will review your experience with the medication and either approve a refill or recommend a follow-up appointment.

Subscription to our services costs only $297 monthly, without hidden costs. You don’t even need to have insurance. Henry Meds makes it that convenient for you.

Pharmacist smiling amid a drugstore

Liraglutide Generic Medications: Why Wait When You Can Be Healthy Now? 

Pharmaceutical companies have started to make moves to manufacture Liraglutide generic products in the near future. However, until we see them in our medicine cabinets, no one is certain when these medications will actually arrive or if they will be easier to access than the original. What we do know is that Liraglutide’s current shortage and unaffordability are forcing people to pursue risky avenues to address their ongoing health needs.

Is your long wait justified? With your precious health at stake, probably not.

Meanwhile, Henry Meds offers an affordable, safe, and convenient way for you to stay on Liraglutide treatment for as long as you need. All you have to do is sign up for our services. Get started on your weight loss journey today!

Disclaimers:

To help you trust the information we provide, every article written by Henry relies on peer-reviewed studies and medically-reviewed facts. We ensure that data, ideas, and figures cited are reliable, current, and accurate. Our team of medical reviewers aims to help you cut through the noise with clear and authoritative primary and secondary sources.

Nothing in this article is intended to be prescriptive or medical advice. Talk to your doctor before starting a new diet and exercise plan. The information presented is about our medically supervised weight management programs and is not an advertisement for a specific drug.

Please note: Henry Meds does not offer Ozempic® or Wegovy®, which are only available from the Novo Nordisk company. Compounded Semaglutide is a patient-specific medication created in a state Board of Pharmacy or FDA-licensed compounding facility per a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional. Compounded drugs are required to exclusively use ingredients from FDA-licensed facilities, and test sterile compounds for potency, sterility, and purity. While compounded drugs are legal, they do not undergo pre-market approval from the FDA as they are not made in large batches for the public. Compounds are made based on specific orders from a medical professional. Because of that, the dose, route of administration, safety, and efficacy may differ from commercially available, brand-name drugs. Henry Meds exclusively works with licensed sterile compounding pharmacies in the United States.

Sources

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