The Biggest Loser – Workers’ Comp?

Managing Member Alan G. Brackett and Associate Ava M. Wolf are co-authors of an “Attorney Analysis” workers’ compensation column for Reuters Legal News and Westlaw. Their most recent article, “The Biggest Loser – Workers’ Comp?” was published on September 14, 2023. In it, they analyze whether weight loss drugs should be approved under workers’ compensation laws.

The Biggest Loser – Workers’ Comp?

These days, when you run into a friend you haven’t seen in a few months, you’re likely to say: “Gee, you look great. Have you lost weight?” The answer is usually either Ozempic, Wegovy or Mounjaro. Ozempic and Mounjaro were developed to treat Type 2 diabetes; Wegovy was developed specifically as a weight loss medication, employing the same semaglutide formula as Ozempic.

These medications have become the new “Botox party” drugs, with physicians, celebrities and influencers alike promoting their use. Wegovy is FDA approved for weight loss; Ozempic and Mounjaro are not. Yet. The question arises — if Wegovy is FDA approved for weight loss (with the others undoubtedly not far behind), should weight loss drugs be approved under workers’ compensation laws?

The impact of new treatments and breakthroughs in medicine are nothing new to workers’ compensation systems. However, the advent of weight loss drugs and their potentially staggering costs should cause any employer or carrier to be concerned. The cost impact on workers’ compensation programs is largely unforeseen, premiums weren’t charged or collected for them, and a very large percentage of injured workers could try to take advantage of them, all at their employer’s expense. This is a burden no workers’ compensation system is prepared for.

Continue reading on Reuters Legal News >

Continue reading on Westlaw >

Download a PDF of “The Biggest Loser – Workers’ Comp >