Ozempic may guarantee weight loss, but it comes with a hefty price — literally. People interested in getting a hold of the drug struggle to afford the medication amid the weight loss craze.

Dr. Lucie Bianchi revealed via WGN-TV on Monday that while many people have been requesting Wegovy — another brand version of Ozempic, at her clinic in northwest suburban Hoffman Estates, Illinois, only a few could afford it.

“My volume of patients requesting this has been high. However, my population can’t afford $1,500 a month for a medication,” she told the outlet.

Despite this, Bianchi said she fully understands the growing demand for the drug, especially among people who don’t see results despite working hard to lose weight.

She recommends the drug for pre-menopausal women and pre-diabetic people because they “are already having a difficult time with weight loss, and most of those subgroups are doing the right things but not really getting the results they are expecting.”

The drug Semaglutide — originally marketed as Ozempic — was intended for diabetes patients. But when its weight loss side effect became known, its manufacturer came up with a higher-dose version specifically for weight loss. That’s how Wegovy came to be.

Due to the drug’s popularity on social media, driven by celebrity testimonials and whatnot, there’s been a shortage in supplies in recent months. Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of both drugs, said keeping supplies stable is currently a priority.

Many people are eager to lose weight and jump on the bandwagon without considering the financial implications first. According to NPR, Wegovy costs about $1,400 a month when not covered by insurance, so many couldn’t stay on the medication for the long term.

Due to Wegovy’s price, people turn to its less expensive sibling, Ozempic, even though Novo Nordisk only markets it for diabetes treatment and not necessarily for weight loss.

But realistically speaking, Ozempic is also not that affordable. Because insurers only cover it when prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss enthusiasts have to shell out between $1,000 and $1,200 per month out of pocket, according to CBS News.

For those desperate to enjoy the weight loss benefits of Ozempic, some clinics have come up with more affordable solutions. For instance, Beautifully New, a clinic in the suburban Park Ridge in Illinois, offers the drug for $599 a month.

Owner and nurse practitioner Danielle Oyasu explained via WGN-TV that they use a special pharmacy to mix doses clients inject once a week.

“It’s a compounded form of this medication which is perfectly legal, and it’s made the medication more widely available,” she said.

Oyasu, 50, proudly shared that the drug helped her lose 30 pounds by eliminating her food cravings. “I was eating less, I wasn’t thinking about food as much,” she added.

And since the word is out on Ozempic’s weight loss powers, her clinic was also hit by the shortage. So to keep up with the demand, they started offering the compounded form of the drug.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are more than 100 million adults living with diabetes or prediabetes in the U.S. Pixabay