Research Mentor Name

Mihaela-Elena Rapolti, MD

Research Mentor Email Address

Institution / Department

Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit Medical Center

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



Background: Recently, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 agonists), a drug class used to treat Type 2 Diabetes, has gained popularity on social media for cosmetic weight loss. Celebrity endorsement of Ozempic, brand name of GLP-1 agonist semaglutide, has increased public demand and caused supply shortages. However, effects on Medicaid patients, who use Ozempic for diabetes, have yet to be investigated.

Methods: We sourced publicly available drug utilization datasets from Nationwide Medicaid reimbursement data for Ozempic, Wegovy (another brand name of semaglutide), and Jardiance (different diabetes medication drug class) were extracted for 2021, 2022, and 2023. Rates of change per quarter per calendar year were calculated, and two-tailed student’s paired T-tests were conducted.

Results: Social media promotions for Ozempic largely began 2022Q4 (Oct 1-Dec 31). Medicaid Ozempic utilization prior to 2022Q4 were significantly different from Jardiance regarding reimbursed units, number of prescriptions, total amount, and Medicaid amount (p0.05), potentially correlating with a difference in publicity for weight loss use compared to Ozempic.

Conclusion: This study strongly suggests that social media has impacted Ozempic usage spanning different socioeconomic classes nationwide. Plastic surgeons with aesthetic services should be conscientious of the downstream effects of prescribing cosmetic weight loss drugs and manage patient expectations accordingly as social media continues to drive public demand.


Medicine and Health Sciences