Ro Debuts Real-Time GLP-1 Supply Tracker in Response to Drug Shortage Challenges


Ro is a digital health platform designed to offer convenient access to healthcare services and products from the comfort of your home. Launched to revolutionize telehealth, Ro connects individuals with licensed healthcare professionals through its website and app. The platform caters to various health needs, including sexual health, weight management, fertility, hair loss, and skin care.

Ro provides prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications shipped discreetly to your doorstep. The service includes free virtual consultations with doctors, nurses, or health coaches, ensuring personalized treatment plans tailored to each user’s needs.

One of Ro’s standout offerings is the Ro Body Program, a weight management initiative combining weight loss medications with a comprehensive curriculum to foster healthy habits. Though insurance does not cover services, some products may be reimbursable through health savings accounts (HSA) or flexible spending accounts (FSA).

While Ro boasts a user-friendly healthcare approach, it has its drawbacks. Common criticisms include issues with billing, delivery, and communication. Nevertheless, Ro remains famous for those seeking a more accessible and private healthcare solution.

Ro at a Glance

Ro is a telehealth platform designed to bring healthcare services directly to your home. The platform offers various services and products to address various health concerns. Users can free connect with doctors, nurses, or health coaches via the website or app. Ro delivers prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications discreetly to your doorstep.

Ro’s focus areas include sexual health, weight loss, fertility, hair loss, and skin health. The services and products Ro offers are not covered by insurance, but some may qualify for reimbursement through health savings accounts (HSAs) or flexible spending accounts (FSAs). While online consultations are usually free, the cost of medications varies depending on factors such as type, dosage, and shipping frequency.

One notable offering is the Ro Body Program, a weight management plan combining medications with a curriculum to promote healthy habits. The program costs $99 for the first month and $145 for subsequent months, excluding medication costs.

Ro aims to provide a convenient, accessible, and discreet way to receive healthcare services. However, it may not suit everyone, particularly those needing comprehensive care or face-to-face interactions.

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Pros and Cons


  • Treatment Plans for a Wide Range of Health Conditions: Ro offers comprehensive treatment options for various health issues, including sexual health, weight loss, fertility, hair loss, and skin health.
  • Convenient and Accessible Way to Receive Care: The platform allows users to connect with healthcare professionals from their homes, making it easier to access medical care without visiting a doctor’s office.
  • Fast, Discreet Shipping for Prescription Medications: Ro ensures that medications are delivered quickly and in discreet packaging, maintaining privacy and convenience.
  • Unlimited Follow-Ups with Healthcare Professionals: Users can have ongoing consultations with doctors, nurses, or coaches at no additional cost, providing continuous support for their health concerns.
  • Both Over-the-counter and Prescription Treatments Available: Ro offers a variety of OTC products and prescription medications, catering to different health needs and preferences.


  • Products and Services Not Covered by Insurance: Users must bear the total cost of medications and services, as insurance plans do not cover them. This can be a significant financial burden.
  • May Not Suit Individuals Without Internet Access or Limited Technology Experience: The platform requires Internet access and some familiarity with technology, which may not suit everyone, especially those in rural or underserved areas.
  • Some Medications Can Be Pricey: Certain medications can be expensive, making them less accessible for individuals on a tight budget.
  • Issues with Slow Response Times and Shipping Reported by Some Users: Some customers have experienced delays in responses and shipping, leading to dissatisfaction with the service.

Who is Ro for?

Ro, a telehealth platform, caters to a diverse audience seeking convenient, home-based healthcare solutions. It is particularly beneficial for adults dealing with specific health issues that can be managed virtually. This includes individuals seeking treatment for sexual health, weight loss, fertility, hair loss, and skin conditions. Ro’s services are ideal for those living in rural areas with limited access to local healthcare professionals, offering a seamless way to receive care without the need for physical travel.

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Moreover, Ro is suitable for individuals looking for a straightforward and quick method to refill prescriptions and those with physical disabilities or limited transportation options. The platform’s accessibility ensures that people with busy schedules or mobility challenges can still receive timely medical advice and treatments.

However, Ro might not be appropriate for everyone. It is not designed for people under 18, those who have not consulted a healthcare professional in the past three years, or individuals with chronic health issues requiring comprehensive care. Additionally, it may not be suitable for those who prefer in-person interactions with healthcare providers or people without internet access or technological proficiency.

How Does Ro Work?

Ro is a direct-to-consumer telehealth platform that connects healthcare services and prescription medications to your home. The process begins by joining the platform and completing a virtual visit with a licensed healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nurse practitioner. This visit allows the professional to understand your health concerns and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.

After your virtual consultation, you can get prescribed medications delivered straight to your door from Ro’s network of nationwide pharmacies. Delivery is typically fast, often taking as little as two days, with discreet packaging to ensure privacy.

One of Ro’s standout features is its free, unlimited follow-up consultations. You can chat with a doctor, nurse, or coach anytime on the platform to address ongoing health concerns or monitor your treatment progress.

Ro offers a variety of health-focused products and services, including medications for sexual health, weight loss, fertility, hair loss, and skin health. However, it’s important to note that Ro is not a replacement for a primary care physician but rather a complementary service that can support your health needs from the comfort of your home.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is a multi-faceted process aimed at reducing body weight, primarily through dietary changes, physical activity, and behavioral adjustments. It is often pursued to improve overall health, enhance physical appearance, or achieve specific fitness goals. Effective weight loss strategies typically focus on creating a calorie deficit, where the number of calories consumed is less than the number expended through daily activities and exercise.

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A balanced diet is crucial for successful weight loss. This includes consuming various nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains while minimizing the intake of processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats. Regular physical activity also plays a significant role, helping to increase calorie expenditure, build muscle mass, and improve metabolic health.

Behavioral changes are essential, such as setting realistic goals, tracking progress, and maintaining a positive mindset. Programs like the Ro Body Program offer structured plans that include personal coaching, at-home testing kits, and access to prescription weight loss medications for those who qualify.

However, it is essential to approach weight loss with a focus on long-term sustainability rather than quick fixes. Consulting healthcare professionals can provide personalized guidance and ensure that weight loss efforts are safe and effective.

GLP-1s and Other Weight Loss Medications

GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) agonists are a class of medications initially designed to treat type 2 diabetes but have shown significant promise in supporting weight loss. These medications mimic the GLP-1 hormone, which increases insulin secretion, slows gastric emptying, and enhances satiety, thereby reducing overall food intake. Standard GLP-1 agonists used for weight management include Wegovy (semaglutide) and Ozempic. Both medications have been shown to help users lose a substantial percentage of their body weight when combined with lifestyle changes.

Another promising medication is Zepbound (tirzepatide), a dual GLP-1 and GIP (gastric inhibitory polypeptide) agonist. This dual mechanism may offer enhanced weight loss benefits compared to GLP-1 agonists alone. Early research indicates that tirzepatide might be more effective than semaglutide, although more studies are required to confirm these findings.

These medications are typically prescribed as part of comprehensive weight management programs, like Ro’s Body Program, which combines pharmacotherapy with behavioral interventions such as personal coaching and an online curriculum focused on nutrition, sleep, and exercise. However, potential users should be aware of the associated costs, as these medications are not always covered by insurance and may require out-of-pocket expenses.

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Ro Rolls Out GLP-1 Supply Tracker Amid Ongoing Drug Shortage

Telehealth company Ro has launched an innovative online GLP-1 supply tracker in response to the persistent challenges of drug shortages. This interactive tool is designed to provide patients with real-time insights into GLP-1 drug availability. The GLP-1 supply tracker combines Ro’s proprietary nationwide supply data, user-generated reports, and information from the FDA’s Drug Shortage List to view the current supply status comprehensively.

Importance of the GLP-1 Supply Tracker

The GLP-1 shortage issue is compounded by the lack of accurate and readily accessible supply information. Ro’s co-founder and CEO, Zachariah Reitano, emphasized the critical need for reliable, up-to-date information to address this challenge. The tracker was initially developed for Ro patients but has been made available to all patients, irrespective of their connection to Ro, to navigate the shortage effectively.

How the Tracker Works

Patients can access the tracker to monitor GLP-1 availability based on the specific drug, dose, and location. They can share their experiences regarding shortages or report the availability of supplies in their area. Furthermore, the tool enables users to submit shortage reports directly to the FDA, streamlining the real-time process of addressing supply gaps.

Accessibility and Features

Ro’s GLP-1 supply tracker is open access and free for any patient or healthcare provider. Users can input data on the availability of GLP-1 drugs at pharmacies, facilitating the sharing of crucial information within the healthcare community. Moreover, the tracker allows seamless reporting to the FDA, ensuring supply issues are promptly communicated and addressed.

Patient Assistance and Notifications

Patients utilizing the tracker can sign up to receive automated email alerts. These notifications inform them when a GLP-1 drug becomes available in their vicinity or if there are any changes in the drug’s status on the FDA’s Drug Shortage List. When a supply is located, Ro automatically sends email alerts to nearby patients, providing details of the pharmacy where the drug is in stock, including its address and contact information. This feature simplifies obtaining the required medication, reducing the stress associated with supply uncertainties.

Community-Driven Support

Acknowledging patients’ challenges in accessing obesity treatments, Ro’s CEO highlighted the importance of community support. Patients often find themselves in the arduous task of searching for medication across multiple pharmacies. Ro’s tool leverages community efforts by allowing patients to share information and support one another efficiently. This structured and automated approach enhances collaboration and solidarity among patients facing similar challenges.

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Healthcare Provider Support

Dr. Melynda Barnes, Ro’s chief medical officer, emphasized the significance of informed healthcare providers in ensuring treatment adherence and continuity of care. The GLP-1 Supply Tracker equips providers with essential information on supply status, enabling them to counsel patients effectively on suitable and reliably available GLP-1 treatments.

In conclusion, Ro’s introduction of the GLP-1 supply tracker exemplifies the company’s commitment to addressing drug shortages and improving patient access to essential medications. By leveraging technology, community engagement, and real-time data, Ro empowers patients and healthcare providers to navigate supply challenges effectively and ensure continuity of care for needy patients.

How Much Does Ro Cost?

Ro offers transparency in pricing for its various health services and products, allowing consumers to plan their expenditures effectively. The cost structure varies based on the specific medication, dosage, and shipping frequency. For example, minoxidil, a generic hair-loss drug, costs $16 per month, while Latisse, a treatment for short eyelashes, is priced at $110 per month.

The Ro Body Program, a weight management service, charges a subscription fee of $99 for the first month and $145 for subsequent months. This fee includes personal coaching, an online curriculum, and up to 24 video sessions per year but excludes the cost of weight loss medications billed separately. Medications like Wegovy, Ozempic, and Zepbound, which support weight loss, may or may not be covered by insurance.

Prices also vary for other services, such as fertility and sexual health. For instance, Roman Viagra, used for erectile dysfunction, is available by prescription with prices depending on the dosage. Ro’s pricing model is straightforward, with transparent costs on their website. However, the lack of insurance coverage means that all fees must be paid out-of-pocket or potentially reimbursed through Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).

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Is Ro Legit?

Ro is a telehealth platform accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), holding an A+ rating. It offers virtual consultations with licensed U.S. healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurse practitioners. The company provides personalized treatment plans for various health concerns, such as sexual health, weight loss, fertility, hair loss, and skin health. Ro ensures transparency by listing each medication’s price and safety details on its website.

Despite its accreditation and thorough vetting process for healthcare professionals, Ro has faced several lawsuits related to digital accessibility, unsolicited marketing messages, and copyright infringement. Some former employees have also expressed concerns about the company’s workplace culture.

Customer reviews of Ro are mixed. Positive feedback highlights the convenience, affordability, and professional customer service. On the downside, some users report dissatisfaction with the return policy, delivery issues, and difficulty canceling subscriptions. Communication problems, especially after the initial consultation, are also commonly mentioned.

While Ro is a legitimate and accredited telehealth service, its mixed reviews and legal challenges indicate that potential users should consider their specific needs and circumstances before using the platform.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does insurance cover Ro services and products?

Ro services and products are not covered by insurance. However, some products may be eligible for reimbursement through flexible spending accounts (FSA) or health savings accounts (HSA). It’s advisable to check with your FSA or HSA provider to confirm eligibility before purchasing.

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Is Ro good for weight loss?

Ro offers several prescription medications, such as Wegovy, Ozempic, and Zepbound, that may aid in weight loss. Ro’s Body Program supports weight management through personal coaching, an at-home testing kit, and a comprehensive online curriculum focused on healthy habits. However, there is no dedicated research supporting the effectiveness of the Ro Body Program specifically, and limited information on how it compares to other weight management programs.

How does Ro handle billing and delivery?

Ro has received mixed reviews regarding its billing and delivery processes. Common complaints include dissatisfaction with the return policy, delivery issues, and difficulty canceling recurring subscriptions. Some users also report being billed twice in the same month and experiencing a lack of clear communication post-consultation.

The Bottom Line

Ro offers a convenient and cost-effective solution for individuals who manage specific health concerns from the comfort of their homes. The telehealth platform provides a variety of prescription medications, over-the-counter (OTC) products, and at-home testing kits to address issues related to fertility, skin and hair health, sexual wellness, and weight management. Its services, however, are not covered by insurance, though some products may be eligible for reimbursement from a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA).

Despite the convenience and range of services, Ro has drawbacks. The platform has mixed reviews online, with common complaints regarding billing, delivery processes, and communication, particularly after initial consultations. Additionally, Ro may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with health conditions requiring comprehensive care, individuals who prefer in-person medical consultations, and people with limited technological proficiency.

While Ro can be a valuable resource for those seeking accessible healthcare solutions, it should not replace a primary care physician or a comprehensive medical care team. Potential users should weigh the pros and cons and consider their healthcare needs before opting for Ro’s services.

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