Dr. Linda Anegawa, a board-certified obesity medicine physician and Noom’s chief of medicine, said the decision to offer GLP-1 agonists — the drug class that includes drugs like Ozempic and Vegovy — made waves in the weight-loss industry. are part of the company’s strategy to address the disease of obesity.
“We’ve always been interested in chronic disease,” Anegawa said. “We really looked at weight as a gateway of entry,” she said, because obesity can lead to other long-term diseases.
Nom Med is only available for people with a BMI greater than 30 or for individuals with a BMI greater than 27 who also have a weight-related condition such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, dyslipidemia, or high cholesterol. Anegawa said the company follows the criteria set by the Food and Drug Administration for prescribing weight-loss drugs.
Only those individuals who subscribe to Noom’s Weight Loss App will be offered Noom Made membership. A subscription to Noom Med will set patients $49 per month, on top of the cost of the weight loss app itself, which costs between $70 per month and $209 per year.
Nom Med’s membership cost will not cover the cost of the drugs.
The launch of Noom Med marks a significant change in the company’s approach to weight loss. Previously, Nome has advocated for non-pharmacological approaches to treating obesity, such as psychological support, health coaching and lifestyle changes.
“We sequenced heavily on the psychological aspects of weight loss and healthy weight maintenance,” Anegawa said. “But it is becoming more and more undeniable that biology and psychology go hand in hand.”
Noom’s decision to prescribe a GLP-1 agonist is just one example of the shift in scientific understanding and public discussions around obesity. Weight Watchers also made the move to offer these drugs in March, citing scientific advances in the weight loss industry and the need to address biological factors that contribute to the disease.
In addition to Nom Vet and Nom Med, the company has two other core businesses: Nom Mood, which provides stress management care, and Nom DPP, the company’s diabetes prevention program. Noam was established in 2008.
This story first appeared on Crane’s New York Business,