What is GLP-1?
GLP-1, short for glucagon-like peptide-1, is a type of incretin hormone produced in the gut in response to food intake. It is a naturally occurring hormone in the body and plays a crucial role in the regulation of glucose metabolism. GLP-1 is involved in maintaining glucose homeostasis and has garnered significant attention in the field of diabetes management.
Access to GLP-1’s
If you have certain insurance plans or if you do not have insurance, you will need to pay for GLP-1 medication costs out-of-pocket. Typically, these medications cost anywhere from $900 - $1,300 per fill (every 4 weeks). Below, we have outlined various plan types and implications for access to GLP-1 medications.
If you are an Uninsured or Kaiser patient and you would like to pay for a GLP-1 medication out of pocket, your provider will evaluate you for eligibility for this medication and write you a prescription as appropriate.
Because of the access limitations for these medications, Sunrise has invested in providing access to alternative offerings that are clinically proven to be effective for weight loss and are affordable via our partner pharmacy, TruePill, at a lower price point starting at $39/mo. To learn more these about offerings, click here.
How Do GLP-1 Receptor Agonists Work?
GLP-1 receptor agonists mimick the actions of the natural GLP-1 hormone in the body. These medications activate GLP-1 receptors, which are present on various cells, including those in the pancreas, brain, and gastrointestinal tract.
When GLP-1 agonists activate GLP-1 receptors, they have several significant effects. They stimulate insulin secretion from the pancreas, promoting the uptake of glucose by cells and reducing blood sugar levels. Additionally, GLP-1 agonists inhibit the release of glucagon, which prevents the liver from producing excessive glucose. This combination of increased insulin secretion and decreased glucagon release helps to maintain more stable blood sugar levels, contributing to improved glycemic control.
GLP-1 agonists also slow down gastric emptying, which moderates the rise in blood glucose following meals. This effect can be particularly beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes who experience post-meal hyperglycemia. Furthermore, GLP-1 agonists promote a feeling of fullness, reducing appetite and overall calorie intake. By helping individuals with type 2 diabetes achieve weight loss, GLP-1 agonists offer additional metabolic benefits.
What are the different GLP-1 medications offered by Sunrise?
At this time, the Sunrise program offers access to Wegovy, Saxenda, Mounjaro, and Ozempic. While these medications are all GLP-1 medications, these drugs possess distinct characteristics, including varying dosage forms (injection or oral), frequency of dosing (daily, twice daily, or weekly), potential side effects, effectiveness, and cost. An overview of these medications is below:
While all of these medications have been evaluated in clinical studies for weight loss, only Wegovy and Saxenda are currently FDA-approved for weight loss. Sunrise often defaults to prescribing Wegovy to our patients as it has the highest likelihood of getting insurance coverage for the cost of medication.
In order to get Mounjaro or Ozempic through Sunrise, patients requires a lab value of <= 8 A1c and has to confirm they are on no diabetes medications outside of Metformin (not required to be on Metformin).