Substantial and sustained weight loss results in improvements in obesity-related comorbidities, and clinicians may consider pharmacotherapy and/or bariatric surgery in appropriate patients. Peter Salgo, MD, comments that bariatric surgery is a more expensive option compared with pharmacotherapy.

Although pharmacotherapy may be less expensive, Yehuda Handelsman, MD, FACP, FACE, FNLA, notes that surgery is a first-choice option for many patients, especially for patients who have a body mass index of 35 or greater and need to lose a larger proportion of weight very quickly.

Maria Lopes, MD, MS, explains that in order to evaluate the financial benefits of pharmacotherapy and bariatric surgery, comparative effectiveness data are needed. Even more important, Dr Lopes states, are data to show that pharmacotherapy options are truly effective.

Jeffrey D. Dunn, PharmD, MBA, comments that because treating obesity is expensive, key stakeholders in healthcare need to figure out how to better spend the limited resources currently available for the management of obesity.

Together, Kari Uusinarkaus, MD, FAAFP, FNLA, and Drs Handelsman and Lopes conclude that a multi-stakeholder approach, with help from the government, is necessary. Dr Handelsman adds that because obesity is so expensive, prevention programs are essential.

Episode 6 - Pharmacotherapy Versus Bariatric Surgery

During this segment, Peter Salgo, MD, and experts Jeffrey D. Dunn, PharmD, MBA; Yehuda Handelsman, MD, FACP, FACE, FNLA; Maria Lopes, MD, MS; and Kari Uusinarkaus, MD, FAAFP, FNLA, explore the costs and benefits of treating patients with pharmacotherapy or bariatric surgery in the context of the limited availability of resources.
Published Online: May 28, 2014
View More From This Discussion
Episode 1 Episode 1 - Prevalence of Diabetes and Obesity in the United States
Episode 2 Episode 2 - Lifestyle Modification Programs-Do They Work?
Episode 3 Episode 3 - Barriers in the Treatment of Obesity
Episode 4 Episode 4 - Role of Pharmacotherapy in the Treatment of Obesity
Episode 5 Episode 5 - Recognizing and Addressing Factors Related to Nonadherence
Episode 6 Episode 6 - Pharmacotherapy Versus Bariatric Surgery
Episode 7 Episode 7 - Barriers When Managing Diabetes
Episode 8 Episode 8 - Changing the T2DM Treatment Paradigm
Episode 9 Episode 9 - Sodium Glucose Cotransporter 2 Inhibitors and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Episode 10 Episode 10 - Additional Sodium Glucose Cotransporter 2 Inhibitors in the Pipeline
Episode 11 Episode 11 - Optimizing Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Episode 12 Episode 12 - Support for Patients With Diabetes
Episode 13 Episode 13 - Recognizing and Resolving Clinical Inertia
Episode 14 Episode 14 - Value-Based Care-Can It Work?
Episode 15 Episode 15 - Approaches to Managing the Diabetes Epidemic
Episode 16 Episode 16 - Closing Remarks
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