Ozempic to have 'bearish' impact on orthopedic, spine practices

Orthopedic

Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists are growing in popularity nationwide, with prescriptions for Ozempic and similar drugs quadrupling in less than three years, according to a September report from The Washington Post

As more Americans lose weight from the effects of GLP-1 medications, it could have potentially negative impacts on orthopedic and spine surgeon profitability. 

One surgeon warns that he anticipates a steep drop in procedure volume over the next few years, as patients drop weight. However, after an initial drop, procedure volumes may pick up again as patients become healthier and live longer. 

John Prunskis, MD, CEO and medical director of the Illinois Pain & Spine Institute in Elgin, told Becker's that he is already seeing increased usage of GLP-1 drugs among his patients. 

Question: What impact do you think GLP-1 medications will have on the spine and orthopedic industry?

Dr. Prunskis: I am seeing increased usage of GLP drugs. Initially, the effect of these drugs will have little impact on spine and orthopedics; however, in a few years time, it will have a bearish effect as thinner people will have fewer spine and orthopedic problems. After a few more years business will pick up again since people will be living longer. I believe usage of this class of drugs will increase.

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