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WeightWatchers is acquiring telehealth start-up Sequence, which will allow its members to request anti-obesity medication alongside their monthly membership.

The integration of medication into WeightWatchers’ behavioral health system will begin after the deal is closed this spring, and will include a telehealth visit to discuss the medication, with Sequence’s automated pre-approval process helping patients gain insurance coverage more quickly.

WeightWatchers’ stock has struggled in recent years as critics have accused the company of promoting false hope that diet and exercise alone can lead to long-term results.

Although it is hard to argue that lifestyle choices don’t help people achieve a healthy weight, recent studies have shown that it is more complicated than that. The microbiome affects how easy it is to lose weight with fecal transplants causing obese mice to lose weight if the transplant is from a thin mouse and vice versa. So it looks like there is some room for medical interventions in addition to diet and exercise.

And Big Pharma is working on new drugs to solve the obesity problem.

Various successful weight loss medications are currently available at a cost of around $1,000 to $1,300 per month.

Read more > WeightWatchers adds drugs to weight-loss menu with purchase of health startup Sequence

See details of the deal > Weight Watchers and Sequence Deal Press Release

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