The Miracle Weight-Loss Drug Is Also a Major Budgetary Threat

The U.S. health care system has struggled for decades with the tension between providing incentives for pharmaceutical innovation and keeping breakthroughs affordable for those who would most benefit from them. Even as countries around the world have stepped in to require lower priced drugs for their citizens, the United States has been reticent to do so. As a result, U.S. consumers pay the highest prices in the world for drugs, by a wide margin.

But the impetus for more fundamental reform may come from an unexpected place: America’s obesity epidemic. Many of us are aware that there is a new class of weight-loss drugs that offer enormous promise in addressing obesity. But there is far less awareness of the fact that these drugs also introduce an enormous risk to America’s taxpayers.

The magnitude of potential benefit and potential cost —

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