Evernorth expanding weight loss management program with new drug options, MDLive providers

Evernorth is expanding its weight loss management program with new services. (fabrycs/Getty Images)

Following its acquisition of MDLive and the approval of new drugs in the market, Cigna's Evernorth is expanding its care management program for weight loss.

The Weight Management Care Value program initially launched under Express Scripts as part of its slate of SafeGuardRx programs. Now, the company is harnessing the capabilities of other assets under its umbrella to broaden the program.

Members who enroll in the program will have access to new therapies like Novo Nordisk's Wegovy, when clinically appropriate and prescribed by their doctor, as well as virtual care options provided by MDLive.

These new options will be built on top of the program's existing supports, which include health coaching, peer support groups, app monitoring and tracking tools, such as connected scales. The program also includes affordable access to prescriptions through Express Scripts' value-based agreements and pharmacy network.

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Amy Bricker, president of Express Scripts, told Fierce Healthcare in an interview that the expanded program offers the Evernorth team a chance to fully highlight the capabilities the diverse company has.

"We see it as an opportunity really to showcase, 'Why did we even create Evernorth?'" she said.

Wegovy holds promise as a therapy for people who struggle with weight loss, but its cost in combination with the potential demand led Express Scripts to cover it under a value-based care arrangement, according to the announcement.

Offering MDLive's services through the program ensures that patients who may benefit from these therapies but who may not have a primary care physician can access them appropriately. Adherence to weight loss drugs is also a persistent challenge, Express Scripts said, with between 20% and 30% of patients never refilling a prescription after their first fill.

Bricker said the goal is to offer an array of services that fit into different lifestyles.

"For many people, it’s motivating being able to track their progress, to set a goal," she said. "It’s not for everybody. It’s important to us to have this spectrum so it's a natural evolution."