Medifast, the parent company of direct selling organization OPTAVIA, announced its entrance into the medically supported weight loss market with the launch of a collaboration with LifeMD, a virtual primary care provider. Medifast now plans to combine the expertise of board-certified clinicians and access to weight loss medications with OPTAVIA’s coach-guided approach to build a comprehensive health solution for the obesity epidemic. This first phase of the company’s business transformation plan is expected to drive customer acquisition and enhance the customer experience.
Medifast’s partnership includes a $20 million investment in LifeMD, with an expected $10 million in contributions allocated to support the venture, fund platform enhancements and build infrastructure.
“This is a pivotal moment in our business as we begin an aggressive transformation, committing more resources than ever before to our OPTAVIA brand and driving growth in this evolving health and wellness landscape,” said Dan Chard, Medifast Chairman and CEO. “Millions of people are seeking a solution that I believe we are uniquely positioned to provide. Together, Medifast and LifeMD expect to deliver a comprehensive approach to health starting with weight management, built around a powerful model of support that includes an independent OPTAVIA Coach and a board-certified affiliated clinician. As a physician-founded company with a long-standing scientific and clinical heritage, we remain committed to helping even more people make living a healthy lifestyle second nature.”
Prior to this partnership, Medifast commissioned a study that revealed most individuals seeking weight loss medications are also interested in post-prescription support and guidance about nutrition, exercise and lifestyle adjustment. This new patient-centric care model that will be tailored to be both coach- and clinician-driven, Medifast believes, opens the door for future collaborations as well.
“A shared philosophy of prioritizing holistic care and focus on lifelong health makes this a natural collaboration between our two companies,” said Justin Schreiber, LifeMD Chairman and CEO. “Medifast’s investment in LifeMD is affirmation of our differentiated virtual care platform and clinical care model that provides tremendous value for our partners, addressing the unique health goals of our combined customer bases across multiple healthcare sectors and conditions. LifeMD is pleased to partner with Medifast to deliver a new model that has the ability to significantly transform the weight management industry.”