What social media is saying about weight loss drugs

While social media “buzz’ can alert marketers to issues with their products and marketing, it should not be used alone to measure your campaign’s effectiveness. The conversations around the new weight loss drugs are happening almost in real time, and it’s not good.

Measuring social media buzz is a service we offer clients, along with actionable recommendations. The key is to quantify the conversations to determine which are relevant. The conversations around Wegovy, Ozempic, and Mounjaro are more negative than positive. Here is what we found:

1ne: The side effects, especially nausea, are shared by many people. Some say it happens when they eat others after they eat, but it’s so bad that some patients are backing away from the medication. We feel that this part of the conversation is scaring people away from these medications.

2wo: Diabetes patients are frustrated in being unable to get these medications.

3hree: Patients who stop taking the medications often report they go on eating binges and regain their weight very quickly.

4our: The percentage of people who report no side effects is tiny but say they have lost weight with diet and exercise.

5ive: The other side effect that people are complaining about is “losing their taste for food.”

What does this tell me?

  • The hype may have driven many early adoption without fully understanding the potential side effects.
  • HCPs must ensure that potential side effects are communicated to patients requesting these drugs. There was quite a lot of mention of getting these drugs easily online.
  • The hype curve may be short-lived. The media has done an excellent job of hyping these drugs, but too many neglect the potential side effects.

At a minimum, I would hope the drug companies are doing research with current patients and collecting data on the prevalence of side effects. I also feel that while these drugs will be big sellers, they won’t meet Wall Street’s expectations for billions of dollars in sales. I believe the demand may decline as worries about side effects persist. I also think the FDA may intervene to ask the drug companies to highlight more information about side effects.

The public wants a “magic pill” to lose weight; that much is inevitable, but there is a trade-off between losing weight and feeling sick and losing all interest in eating. Marketers should remember that food is much more than nutrition. People see it as a reward for their tough days and a social family function.

Clearly there is more work to be done.