Around the globe, but especially in the U.S., the ever-increasing obesity epidemic is detrimentally impacting individuals, their families, and society at large at unprecedented rates. Formally recognized as a chronic disease by the American Medical Association since 2013, obesity is also associated with a vast number of other health conditions. It is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.

Many factors contribute to the obesity crisis—including socioeconomics, genetics, access to healthy food and places to exercise, education, activity levels, and the biochemistry of the body—and society as a whole is beginning to recognize that, for millions of Americans, maintaining healthy body weight is not as simple as just “eating less and exercising more” (though diet and exercise are critical components of a healthy lifestyle for people of every age and body weight). Rather, obesity and overweight must be approached with the same mentality as any other chronic disease.

This means understanding and addressing the root causes of excess weight gain and managing the related symptoms with safe and effective treatment plans tailored to the needs of each individual patient. In many cases, it also means considering the use of groundbreaking weight loss drugs in combination with other lifestyle interventions, despite the prejudices and judgements often encountered in mainstream society.

In this post, we’ve explored the seismic shift that occurred in the world of weight loss medicine when Ozempic hit the drug market in 2017, the medications that have followed in its wake, and where the future of weight loss drugs may be headed in the upcoming year. Remember—the information on the website does not constitute medical advice. It is essential to speak with your doctor or medical provider to determine whether or not any of the prescription drugs discussed here may be appropriate for your specific needs and circumstances.

Key Takeaways

  • The obesity crisis is negatively impacting millions of Americans and is a leading cause of death. Treatment plans that include GLP-1 medications for weight loss can be game-changers for many patients.
  • Ozempic was the first GLP-1 medication to be associated with unprecedented weight loss results. Demand for the drug skyrocketed as a result, causing worldwide shortages.
  • Ozempic paved the way for the development and approval of other similar drugs, including Wegovy, Mounjaro, and Zepbound. In 2023, the number of prescriptions being written for these drugs hit an all-time high.
  • In 2024, Ozempic and other GLP-1 medications are projected to continue gaining popularity. Ongoing drug trials are underway to expand their approval for treating a variety of different medical conditions. In addition, new weight loss drugs are being researched and may be poised to hit the market within the next year or two.
  • Life on GLP-1 drugs has its pros and cons. The medical world is still uncovering the realities associated with long-term use of these medications.
  • The weight loss drug boom appears to be far from over. Drug companies, medical professionals, and patients alike will almost certainly continue to deal with the high demand and high costs associated with GLP-1 medications throughout 2024 and beyond.

Why People Were Talking About Ozempic

When Novo Nordisk’s pivotal Type 2 Diabetes medication, Ozempic (active ingredient semaglutide), hit the market in 2017, it was far from being the first drug in its class of incretin mimetics. In fact, the first glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist drug to be approved by the FDA was Byetta (exenatide) in 2005, and others such as Trulicity (dulaglutide) and Saxenda (liraglutide) were already well established.

That being said, there was something different about Ozempic: Its excellent blood sugar control outcomes were also accompanied by outstanding weight loss results that surpassed those previously associated with any other drug. Semaglutide clinical trial results showed the potential for an astonishing 15% (or more) reduction in body weight over just 68 weeks. In addition, Ozempic differentiated itself with a convenient once-weekly administration schedule (in contrast to Saxenda, which had to be injected daily).

Before Ozempic, surgical interventions were the only treatments associated with such rapid and lasting weight loss and news of this new drug’s potential spread quickly. Though Ozempic was only FDA-approved for blood sugar management in adults with Type 2 Diabetes, it was soon being liberally prescribed off-label to obese and overweight patients and promoted by celebrities, influencers, and news outlets all over the world as a miracle weight loss solution. Even patients who were previously skeptical about taking weight loss medication, were now seeing how Ozempic might represent a whole new approach to weight management.

Ozempic’s popularity hasn’t ebbed. People were and still are talking about Ozempic and its sister drug, Wevovy (also semaglutide), which was FDA-approved for chronic weight management in adults in 2021 and children 12 and over in 2022. Additionally, Eli Lilly’s dual-agonist tirzepatide drugs Mounjaro (blood sugar control) and Zepbound (chronic weight management) have also both soared to pharmaceutical fame in recent years and months (see more below), and more similar drugs are currently being developed and researched on an ongoing basis.

Statistics Regarding Obesity

As discussed at the beginning of this post, obesity is a recognized chronic disease that disproportionately impacts Americans. Roughly 2 out of 3 American adults are currently obese or overweight, and these statistics are expected to continue increasing. The root cause of obesity is not simply a lack of willpower. Rather, this disease is impacted and exacerbated by many factors, including socioeconomic status, where people live, genetics, stress, medical history, and access to healthy food and places to be physically active—plus much more.

Unfortunately, people with obesity are at higher risk of developing a wide variety of other health conditions, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Mental illness (including depression, anxiety, and other disorders)
  • Chronic pain
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Overall poorer quality of life

In light of such comorbidities, it is perhaps unsurprising that obese and overweight Americans pay approximately 30%-40% more for medical treatment than those who are not.

The Rise of Weight Loss Drugs in 2023

Demand for GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs, which mimic incretin hormones produced in the human gut during digestion and help regulate blood sugar levels and appetite, has been rising for several years. In 2023, however, prescriptions for Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro hit an all-time high.

Why? Several factors likely contributed (and continue to contribute) to their soaring popularity:

  • People are more familiar with GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs overall and more aware of the potential to approach their doctor or healthcare provider for an on-label or off-label prescription.
  • Though no generic forms of these drugs are officially available, shortages of brand-name tirzepatide and semaglutide drugs have prompted clinics to “compound” them (make and sell their own copycat versions, which are produced with little oversight or regulation). Though there are inherent risks in purchasing compounded medications, many Americans have nonetheless opted for these more affordable alternatives to brand-name medications.
  • Wegovy was approved for use in certain adolescent populations at the tail end of 2022, thus dramatically increasing the potential number of people receiving prescriptions for the drug.

No matter the reasons, semaglutide and tirzepatide drugs enjoyed an intense spike in popularity throughout 2023, and this trend is unlikely to subside any time soon.

Supply Chain Issues Regarding Ozempic and Other Drugs

Having an in-demand product is something to strive for, but pharmaceutical giants like Novo Nordisk (Ozempic, Wegovy) and Eli Lilly (Mounjaro, Zepbound) have also experienced the flip side of success over the past year: Supply chain issues. Demand for weight loss drugs has so far exceeded expectations and manufacturing capacity that it has often been difficult for patients to get their hands on these medications. In response, Novo Nordisk recently announced that it has invested more than $6 billion USD into boosting its production capacity for semaglutide drugs. Likewise, Eli Lilly is bolstering supply capacity for Mounjaro and Zepbound with plans for a $2.5 billion USD manufacturing plant.

Besides supply chain issues, there’s also the high cost of GLP-1 medications to contend with. With price tags hovering in the $1000 USD range for a month’s supply of any of these drugs (without insurance coverage), many Americans are seeking more affordable options. Many health insurers have yet to approve coverage for some or all of Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, and Zepbound. Even among providers who do cover these drugs, the majority only cover them for on-label prescriptions (in other words, Ozempic or Mounjaro wouldn’t qualify to be covered if prescribed for weight loss purposes).

Many advocates point out that the costs of covering weight loss drugs may be dramatically less than the health costs ultimately associated with not covering weight loss drugs. Nevertheless, price remains a barrier to these drugs for many Americans. is able to help by offering high-quality Canadian medications at a fraction of the cost you’d pay at your local pharmacy.

Zepbound and What It Means for Weight Loss

At the end of 2023, Eli Lilly’s tirzepatide, which had previously only been approved for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes under the brand name Mounjaro, was approved for weight loss and chronic weight management under the brand name Zepbound. Like semaglutide, tirzepatide mimics the incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and binds to its receptor sites throughout the body, triggering responses in various systems.

In addition, Zepbound also mimics a second incretin hormone known as glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). It is the first and (currently) only drug in its class of dual-action GIP/GLP-1 receptor agonists and has been associated with weight loss results even greater than semaglutide in clinical trials. In a 72-week double-blind clinical trial, many obese and overweight adults lost more than 20% of their initial body weight and 1 in 3 lost a total of more than 58 lbs.

These truly staggering weight loss statistics underscore the possibility of a not-too-distant future where many more similar drugs are developed and approved. Tirzepatide is unlikely to remain alone in its drug class for long and Eli Lilly is already working on the development of a drug containing retatrutide, a triple-hormone receptor agonist.

What Living on GLP-1 Agonists Is Really Like

As with any drugs, patients’ experiences on GLP-1 (and GIP/GLP-1) receptor agonist drugs vary. While many have lauded their weight loss journeys, strongly urging others to follow suit, others have experienced severe side effects. Explore online forums and media publications and you’ll quickly find talk of concerns ranging from decreased sex drive and gastrointestinal issues to hair loss, sagging skin, muscle loss, and suicidal thoughts. You’ll also find many proponents of GLP-1 drugs (doctors and patients alike) who truly feel that these medications offer hope and a way forward for those suffering from obesity that is unlike anything previously seen.

To learn more about how these drugs may impact you personally, speak directly with your doctor or healthcare provider.

Pfizer’s Weight Loss Drug Trials and What They Could Mean

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is currently working on a once-daily weight loss pill known as danuglipron. Classed as a GLP-1RA, this drug could once again revolutionize the weight loss medication market, offering yet another option for those seeking to shed pounds. That being said, late-stage clinical trials still need to be completed. Stay tuned for more data and information about danuglipron throughout 2024.

Other Partnerships and Buyouts To Look Out For

Many drug manufacturers in the pharmaceutical industry are looking to enter into the obesity drugs marketplace and share in the success currently enjoyed by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly. In 2024, expect to see pharmaceutical companies creating partnerships and buying out smaller weight loss drug developers as they look to expedite their weight loss drug development processes and gain a foothold in the market. Likewise, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are also acquiring smaller drug companies to maintain their dominance in the weight loss drug landscape. Visit often to stay on top of relevant happenings and updates!

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is this: GLP-1 receptor agonist weight loss drugs have taken the world by storm and are likely to continue gaining popularity in 2024 despite high costs, supply chain issues, and the potential for serious side effects. New drugs are being rapidly developed and approved to address the obesity crisis in America and around the globe, and many people are seeking affordable options for sourcing them.

At, we ship high-quality Canadian medications at affordable prices. To learn more about receiving obesity medicine directly to your door, contact our dedicated team today!

About the Author

Ida Edlweiss Gumpal is a licensed Pharmacist and medical writer. She took her internships at Mercury Drug Corporation, Inc., a Hospital internship at De Vera Medical Center, Inc., and a Manufacturing internship at Philmed Laboratories, Inc. She has plans on attending medical school with the goal of specializing in Neurosurgery or Cardiothoracic surgery.