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GLP-1 Drug Report 2023

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Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels.com


A group of hunger suppressing drugs have become popular for their ability to help promote significant weight loss. This page offers news and resources relating to these drugs. Entries are in chronological order beginning with the most recent. Some commentary and context are provided at the top of the page.


The group of weight loss drugs that gained attention in 2023 mimic the natural GLP-1 hormone in the body. This hormone serves several functions in the body:

  1. Insulin – Triggers natural insulin production by the pancreas.
  2. Glucagon Blocking – The liver is able to produce abundant amounts of glucose. The GLP-1 hormone tells the liver to reduced glucose production.
  3. Slow Digestion – Eating too much forces food through the stomach instead of allowing the natural digestion process to complete. Slowing down the digestion process helps reduce the liver’s glucose release.
  4. Feeling Full – In the brain there are areas that process hunger and cravings as well as and the feeling of being full and content (satiety). The GLP-1 hormone promotes a sense of fullness and not feeling hungry.

Natural Sources

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there are some natural sources fro boosting GLP-1 in the body. [Report]

  • “In addition to synthetic GLP-1 receptor agonists, some evidence suggests that natural products may have modulatory effects on GLP-1 expression and secretion. In the current study, we conclude that certain herbal-based constituents, such as berberine, tea, curcumin, cinnamon, wheat, soybean, resveratrol, and gardenia, can exert an influence on GLP-1 release.” [Source]

Some people may find that natural sources of GLP-1 boosters work better for them when combined with quality sleep, proper hydration, good nutrition, social connections and exercise — like yoga (as depicted in the featured photo at the top of this page).

Drug Concerns

There seem to be many examples of people who regained their hunger and weight when discontinuing use of the weight loss drugs. So, the drugs seem to be required indefinitely to maintain lower weight.

Mounjaro (tirzepatide) has been shown to have the greatest potential for weight loss. In a lab study not involving humans, “tirzepatide and medicines that work in the same way caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer.” [Source: Drugs.com]

In addition to the possibility of undesirable side effects, a concern about these drugs is the cost. For example, Mounjaro can cost $10,000 to $18,000 per year for a patient without insurance. [Source 1 | Source 2]

When the cost is covered by insurance or government plans, then that expense is spread out but still reflects a sizable money shift from public and collective institutions to private pharmaceutical companies. Some estimates are as high as $100 billion dollars for the overall industry. [Source]

Marketplace Corrections

In any industry, there can be challenges with self-regulation. Just as humans can have uncontrolled cravings for food, some people have an uncontrolled craving for profits that can obscure the need for safety. Some of these challenges are illustrated in the Netflix series “Painkiller” that examines the rollout and fallout of OxyContin. [View Trailer] Highly impactful “miracle drugs” can have social side effects that are only fully understood once they are released for wide-spread use.


  • GLP-1 Agonists Info Page via Cleveland Clinic [View]
  • “How do Mounjaro, Wegovy & Ozempic compare for weight loss?” via Drugs.com, 22 Feb 2023 [View]
  • Mounjaro Info Page via Drugs.com [View]
  • Ozempic Info Page via Drugs.com [View]
  • Wegovy Info Page via Drugs.com [View]


CBS (31 Aug 2023)

“Ozempic and Wegovy may reduce alcohol cravings, some users say” — The use of popular diabetes drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy has exploded worldwide because of their weight loss benefits, but some users are now reporting another possible side effect: reducing cravings for alcohol, nicotine and even opioids. Dr. Tamika Henry, founder of the Unlimited Health Institute, joined CBS News to explain the potential benefits. [Source]

GMA (3 Aug 2023)

“Lawsuit filed against makers of Ozempic and Mounjaro” — The suit alleges pharmaceutical companies Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly should have included more explicit warnings about the risks of using their diabetes drugs. [Source]

NewsNation (13 Jul 2023)

“Wegovy says pill version works better than injection” — Novo Nordisk says its weight loss drug, Wegovy, works better as a pill than in the form of an injection. The drugmaker now plans to submit the Wegovy pill for Food and Drug Administration approval later this year.
Dr. Corey Hebert and Dr. Tom Pitts discussed Wegovy and other popular weight loss drugs. [Source]

MPU (28 Jun 2023)

“How One Drug Could Break America’s Health Care System” — In October of 2018, Eli Lilly was a mid-level pharmaceutical company, valued at not even half of Pfizer, but the company had a secret — a weight loss drug called Mounjaro. There are a handful of these drugs. Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus. Mounjaro is the latest and most effective. It’s also expensive. If your insurance doesn’t cover it, it costs between $10-$18k a year. Not only would Mounjaro help make Eli Lilly the most valuable pharmaceutical company in the world, but it could break America’s healthcare system. Here’s why. [Source]

GMA (18 May 2023)

“A look at the cost of weight-loss drugs” — Some weight-loss medications fall into a gray area that may or may not be covered by insurance, potentially costing users more than $1,000 a month. [Source]

NewsNation (28 Apr 2023)

“‘This works’: Dr. Drew on Mounjaro, Ozempic for weight loss” — There is now another weight loss drug that could hit the market this year to rival the blockbuster Ozempic, and it promises to be even more effective. Meanwhile, a new report from the American Heart Association says low-carb Paleo, Atkins and keto diets all scored lowest for heart health. Dr. Drew Pinsky, a board-certified physician and addiction specialist and host of “Ask Dr. Drew,” discusses the health headlines on “CUOMO.” [Source]

CNBC (3 Apr 2023)

“WeGovy, Ozempic or Mounjaro? How a new wave of weight loss drugs could transform the diet industry” — Wegovy is one of several new “miracle” drugs that promise to revolutionize the weight-loss industry. Praised by celebrities and social media influencers, Wegovy was approved for use in the U.S., as well as in the U.K.’s free healthcare system, where it will be available to patients in spring 2023. [Source]

TODAY (15 Feb 2023)

“What’s it like taking Ozempic? Patients share their stories” — Three women open up to NBC’s Vicky Nguyen about taking Ozempic for diabetes and weight loss. They share the side effects they experienced and what it was like after they stopped taking the drug. [Source]

60 Minutes (2 Jan 2023)

“Promising new weight loss medication in short supply and often not covered by insurance” — Lesley Stahl reports on how obesity is misunderstood, and the struggle to get new weight loss drugs to people who need them. [Source]

Document History

This document was first posted on 6 Sep 2023 at 7:21 AM. On 5 Jul 2024 the title was changed from “Ozempic Mounjaro Wegovy 2023” to “GLP-1 Drug Report 2023.” A new report for 2024 has been created.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com