Weight Watchers plans to integrate its weight-loss plans and recipes with telehealth consultations and doctor-approved prescription drugs in a planned $106 million acquisition of digital health company Sequence.
Launched in 2021, Sequence has about 24,000 members who pay $99 a month for services that include telehealth appointments with doctors who can prescribe drugs that mimic the hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)—which stimulates insulin production and also slows the emptying of the stomach.
Those drugs include Ozempic, which is prescribed for Type 2 diabetes but has become extremely popular—leading to pharmacy shortages in some states—because of its ability to help people lose weight.
It’s the latest digital evolution for Weight Watchers, which provides customized nutrition plans, lifestyle trackers, 24/7 coach support and more than 12,000 healthy meal recipes via its app.
Weight Watchers says its offerings can help people manage side effects from the chronic use of GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic.
“As we build out our clinical weight management pathway, we will be learning and likely tailoring our nutrition program for this distinct member journey,” Weight Watchers Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Gary Foster said in a news release.
“We know weight management isn’t one-size-fits-all and clinical interventions are not medically or otherwise appropriate for everyone—which is why we remain committed to all pathways.”
First-time users of Sequence take an online five-minute quiz about their medical and weight-loss history before speaking with a clinician who then develops a treatment plan.
The clinician considers and prescribes appropriate medications—in many cases, GLP-1s—followed by patient interaction with a dietitian and fitness coach.
The acquisition of Sequence—incorporated as Weekend Health—is expected to close in the second quarter.