WeightWatchers could either win big or lose faithful customers, or both, in its pivot to Ozempic trend (2024)

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WeightWatchers could either win big or lose faithful customers, or both, in its pivot to Ozempic trend (3)

WeightWatchers is moving away from the group support meetings the company is known for, pivoting instead to using obesity medications for weight loss.

WW International Inc. recently shuttered thousands of in-person meeting locations and inked a deal to acquire telemedicine startup Sequence for more than $1oo million. The two-year-old company sells GLP-1s — better known by their brand names Ozempic and Wegovy — which can lead to dramatic weight loss.

Although the medication has gained popularity online and among celebrities, veteran WeightWatchers members aren't all happy with the company's pivot.

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"WeightWatchers has kicked us to the curb," one 15-year member told Bloomberg.


Some WeightWatchers members expressed concern that the company was abandoning its message of self-restraint for the easy solution of weight-loss medication.

"They're not practicing what they preached … and now all of a sudden there's a drug involved," one member said during an April meeting.

Despite criticism from current WeightWatchers members who have remained loyal to the program for decades, Goldman Sachs analysts predict that the move toward weight-loss drugs could save the 60-year-old company from financial collapse. Analysts estimate that the company could generate $455 million in new revenue through an extra half million subscribers by 2025.

WeightWatchers has struggled in recent years to retain subscribers to its nutrition and diet program. Sequence, meanwhile, prescribes weight-loss medications like Ozempic and Wegovy and helps patients afford the drugs through insurance and reimbursem*nts. Before its acquisition, Sequence offered its services for $99 a month.


WeightWatchers CEO Sima Sistani has said the move is a way to revive the company, along with its competitors like Jenny Craig, begin to falter.

As these medications become more popular, the desire for more access to them is placing pressure on companies, insurers, and government programs. Employers are even beginning to crack down on covering the drugs in their health plans.

WeightWatchers could either win big or lose faithful customers, or both, in its pivot to Ozempic trend (2024)


Is WeightWatchers pivoting to Ozempic? ›

In March, popular weight loss program WeightWatchers acquired telehealth platform Sequence and announced members would be able to use the new subscription-based acquisition to get GLP-1 weight loss medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, and tablet options like Rybelsus.

How many people don't lose weight on Ozempic? ›

Doctors say roughly 10% to 15% of people who try them are “non-responders,” typically defined as those who lose less than 5% of their body weight. These patients, doctors say, don't experience enough appetite reduction to result in significant weight loss.

How much will Ozempic cost with WeightWatchers? ›

WeightWatchers has a new $99 monthly plan — and it's targeting those on drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy.

Are WeightWatchers failing financially? ›

The company's financial health showed signs of strain, as evidenced by a decline in revenue and subscriber numbers, alongside wider-than-expected losses revealed in its Q4 earnings report. WeightWatchers' net income loss grew 140% to $88.1 million at the end of last year.

Did Oprah Winfrey use Ozempic for weight loss? ›

Winfrey, who in December admitted to using weight loss medication, empathized with the guests who shared why they turned to prescription medications such as Ozempic, Mounjaro, Victoza and Wegovy. "This is what I got for the first time after I took the medication.

What weight loss drug is replacing Ozempic? ›

Ozempic isn't approved for weight loss. But it's sometimes prescribed off-label to help people without diabetes lose weight. Wegovy (semaglutide), Saxenda (liraglutide), and Zepbound (tirzepatide) are three FDA-approved options for weight loss. Talk to your healthcare team about your treatment plan.

Why did Oprah leave WeightWatchers? ›

Winfrey told Kimmel, “I decided [to leave the WeightWatchers board] because this special was really important to me, and I wanted to be able to talk about whatever I want to talk about.” WeightWatchers “is now in the business of being a weight-health company that also administers drug medications for weight.

How much weight can you lose on Ozempic in a month? ›

Research suggests that people can lose an average of 5 pounds monthly on Ozempic. The amount of weight you can lose in a month with Ozempic depends on your dose. Other factors affecting the amount of weight loss you can expect with Ozempic include your starting weight, diet, exercise, and other medications.

Can you really get Wegovy for $25? ›

Currently, you can get Wegovy for as little as $0 for up to thirteen 28-day fills of Wegovy (just over one year of treatment). Then, after the 13th refill, you may pay as little as $25 for a monthly supply of Wegovy, which includes four one-time-use injection pens.

Does Oprah own WeightWatchers now? ›

Winfrey owns about 1.4% of the company's shares, or about 1.3 million shares, according to financial data provider FactSet.

Are WeightWatchers in trouble? ›

Weight-loss companies face heavy competition from injectable drugs such as Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro, which have in recent years skyrocketed in popularity around the world. WeightWatchers suffered a loss of more than $88 million in 2023, according to a financial report released by the company this week.

What is the negative side of WeightWatchers? ›

What is negative about Weight Watchers? Weight Watchers lacks education when it comes to nutrition and learning about why and how the foods you eat affect your weight. You also can't follow the points system outside WW, making the plan hard to continue after canceling your subscription.

Does WeightWatchers offer Wegovy? ›

Like Noom Med, clinicians under WeightWatcher's clinical membership can prescribe both FDA-approved and non-FDA approved medications to help with weight management. Dr. Nadolsky provides the following as examples: Injectable GLP-1 obesity medications like Wegovy (semaglutide)

Is Wegovy better than Ozempic? ›

Wegovy offers a slightly higher maximum dose of semaglutide than Ozempic. Patients on the former may reach a maintenance dose of 2.4 mg, while Ozempic's maximum dose is 2 mg. This higher available dose of semaglutide gives Wegovy a slight advantage over Ozempic when considering its effectiveness.

What is happening to WeightWatchers? ›

WeightWatchers embracing weight-loss drugs and closing more locations. After decades of emphasizing personal responsibility and behavior change, WeightWatchers is embracing clinical weight loss treatments and is cutting back on the in-person meetings that once defined the company.

What is the cheapest way to get Ozempic for weight loss? ›

If you don't have insurance coverage, you can still get Ozempics at a cheaper price. Some websites, such as GoodRx, source Ozempic coupons from various retailers — including Costco, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart — which can help you save on the cost of Ozempic.

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