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09/17/2021

CVS Health to collaborate with Novo Nordisk to tackle obesity

The initial offering will be available at three HealthHUB locations in the Phoenix area — two in Chandler and one in Gilbert — with plans to expand to additional locations later in the year.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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CVS Health and Novo Nordisk are piloting a new, personalized nutrition coaching program to support people struggling with obesity, after their treatment plan has been determined by a licensed provider.

More than 40% the U.S. population suffers from obesity, a chronic disease that is linked to several leading causes of premature death, including heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. Weight loss plans typically focus on diet and exercise and, in some instances, anti-obesity medications. Because each individual’s weight loss journey is unique, a customized plan to address his or her specific needs is critical to optimize health outcomes.

Building upon nutrition coaching services already available at certain CVS Pharmacy HealthHUB locations, CVS Health and Novo Nordisk are working together to offer expanded education and a coaching support program for individuals using anti-obesity medications. The companies plan to continuously innovate to find new ways to help remove known barriers for patients to access health care services and medications, once their physicians have determined the appropriate chronic disease management plan.

[Read more: CVS Caremark launches new efforts to tackle health disparities]

“We’re evolving our legacy relationships with pharmaceutical manufacturers to more fully support patients,” said Gary Loeber, executive vice president, Pharmaceutical Contracting and Purchasing at CVS Health. “This initial pilot with Novo Nordisk recognizes people who struggle with weight loss often face stigma and need personalized support. Our CVS Pharmacy nutrition coaches understand those challenges and can support patients in their customized plans and lifestyle choices.”

“Although obesity is a serious chronic disease, it is often misunderstood, underdiagnosed, and under treated. We have been working to change that because people who live with this disease need more care and support,” said Doug Langa, executive vice president of North America operations and president of Novo Nordisk. “Through partnerships like this, we bring together our collective resources and expertise to make a more meaningful difference and to reach more people with obesity.”

The complete CVS Health nutrition coaching program includes a personal nutrition assessment; twice-monthly body composition tests and dietitian coaching sessions; a coupon for up to 10 free healthy meals; and a digital app with shopping lists, recipes, a restaurant guide, and dietitian messaging capability. CVS Health also offers a “basic” program including only some of these elements. The expanded offering will direct participants to resources, such as their primary care provider, to help them better understand how to properly use their medication.

[Read more: CVS Health to collaborate with Biogen for Alzheimer's screenings]

The expanded pilot program will be available in-person in select locations and virtually, providing an affordable, community-based option. The initial offering will be available at three HealthHUB locations in the Phoenix area — two in Chandler and one in Gilbert — with plans to expand to additional locations later in the year.

CVS Health said it has a broader enterprise-wide commitment to battling obesity. In addition to the pilot program with Novo Nordisk, the company’s MinuteClinic locations offer weight loss coaching that identifies individual goals and behavioral strategies to improve eating habits and physical activity. Its Aetna and Caremark businesses also have obesity- and weight management-focused offerings. 

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