Skip to Main Content

WASHINGTON — It’s not every day that the pharmaceutical industry, the NAACP, a cancer center, and a nonpartisan think tank are all lobbying to achieve the same policy goal.

But an effort to expand Medicare coverage for obesity drugs has managed to unite them all, and many more groups across the health care industry, too.


Medicare is prohibited by law from paying for the buzzy new drugs that promise to help people with obesity lose weight. Lawmakers banned coverage of obesity drugs when the program’s prescription drug benefit was created in 2003, along with medications to treat conditions such as erectile dysfunction, hair loss, and fertility issues.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!


Create a display name to comment

This name will appear with your comment

There was an error saving your display name. Please check and try again.