Louisiana’s market for weight loss drugs like Ozempic is enormous. A local company is jumping in.

David Soliman’s weight loss journey led him to discover the secret behind a significant number of parents at his child’s school losing weight: GLP-1 receptor agonists delivered by a telehealth company. Despite experiencing positive results with a weight loss of 15 pounds within the first 30 days, Soliman felt apprehensive about the delivery process which felt like dealing with an illegal drug dealer.

With an identified business opportunity during a frenzy for GLP-1 drugs, Soliman transitioned his personal weight loss experience into a business. As a financial advisor in the New Orleans area, he established Big Easy Weight Loss and has since acquired around 100 clients in Louisiana, aiming to expand to 13 other states within a few weeks.

Louisiana is a promising market for weight loss drugs given its high obesity rate – about 40% of adults being obese, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One such GLP-1 drug is Semaglutide, present in Ozempic, which has demonstrated positive impacts on weight loss by shedding 15% to 20% of the user’s bodyweight, among other health benefits.

Big Easy Weight Loss collaborates with compounding pharmacies to produce the injections, providing access to clients through a portal, including physicians and other people on the weight loss journey. This collaboration presents a cheaper, albeit unapproved, alternative to FDA-approved versions. Compounding pharmacies adjust medications according to patients’ specific needs. While not subject to Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval, caution should be exercised when using these compounded formulations of GLP-1 drugs, warned doctors, such as Dr. Taniya De Silva from LSU Health New Orleans.

The effectiveness of these drugs, however, can vary: some people are able to maintain their weight loss without the drugs after initially experiencing significant reductions. Some healthcare professionals like Dr. Michael Cook argue that for those needing substantial weight loss, a multi-pronged approach – likely combining medication with surgical intervention – could prove most effective.

David Soliman’s Big Easy Weight Loss attracts patients who share results, advice, and questions within an exclusive Facebook group, growing the company significantly through word of mouth and a genuine physician presence.

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