The Fascinating Connection Between Ozempic's Popularity and U.S. Economic Growth

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The popular weight-loss drug may create an economic boost.
Updated April 11, 2024
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Ozempic, a medication originally created to treat diabetes, also has a reputation as a weight loss miracle drug. According to Goldman Sachs, the popular medication, along with other weight-loss drugs in the glucagon-like peptide-1 class (GLP-1), could help lift the U.S. economy in the next few years.

While the purchase of these drugs could contribute significantly to the economy, more surprising factors like employability rates and household shopping routines could be affected too.

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How Ozempic could help the workforce

Creativa Images/Adobe old man sitting on couch in front of table saving pennies in glass jar

Ozempic and other GLP-1 drugs could potentially impact the overall health of the workforce — ultimately boosting the economy.

Goldman Sachs claims that poor health conditions like sickness and disability among employees can hurt economic growth due to the limited availability of workers and hours/days worked.

Goldman Sachs analysts, led by Jan Hatzius, said, “The main reason we see meaningful upside from healthcare innovation is that poor health imposes significant economic costs. There are several channels through which poor health weighs on economic activity that could diminish if health outcomes improve."

If illnesses and disabilities did not affect productivity in the workforce, the gross domestic product (GDP) could increase by as much as 10%.

How much the economy could be impacted

Duncan Andison/Adobe computer display with a GDP word

Goldman Sachs analysts predict that the use of weight-loss drugs could raise the country’s GDP by 1% within the next decade– which is about $360 billion per year.

More drug companies are also looking to enter the market and invite future competition with different variations of the popular weight-loss drugs. Currently, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are the pharmaceutical front-runners for producing Ozempic and other GLP-1s.

According to an estimate from JPMorgan, the weight-loss drug market has the potential to reach $100 billion by 2030.

Other economic impacts of GLP-1s

pressmaster/Adobe senior couple standing in front of african american female cashier paying money using smartphone

Unexpected areas of the economy, like grocery shopping, may be impacted by households that use GLP-1 drugs. In a survey from Numerator, households using GLP-1s decreased monthly grocery spending by as much as 6% to 9% compared to those who don’t use them.

In the survey, they found that the types of products normally purchased have also shifted. Purchases of items like snacks, baked goods, and ice cream decreased, whereas purchases of healthy foods like vegetables, fish, and yogurt increased.

Large retailers like Walmart have already begun to notice the change in shopping behaviors.

Novo Nordisk’s CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen said he received calls from various food company representatives who are on alert about the drug’s potential effects on their bottom lines.

Bottom line

myskin/Adobe man preparing  semaglutide ozempic injection to control blood sugar levels

By 2028 up to 70 million Americans could be taking weight-loss drugs like Ozempic.

With several signs pointing to an economic boost, other weight-loss drug variations may go to market soon. These drugs are also being tested to see if they are effective in treating everything from alcohol addiction to dementia.

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Author Details

Taylor Bushey Taylor Bushey is a professional writer with a background in the banking industry. She also covers topics including home, wellness, lifestyle, fashion, and beauty.

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