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HomeWorld NewsWeight-Loss Injection Wegovy Now Accessible on NHS for the First Time

Weight-Loss Injection Wegovy Now Accessible on NHS for the First Time

A limited supply of the loss jab drug Wegovy has become available to patients via NHS specialists in the UK for the first time.

Wegovy, a drug used for weight loss and diabetes treatment, will be prescribed via specialist NHS weight management services alongside a reduced-calorie diet and exercise from September 4.

Wegovy as well as Saxenda, and Ozempic are sold by Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk, belong to a class of medications called GLP-1 receptor agonists.

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Earlier this year, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recommended the use of semaglutide (brand name Wegovy) for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35 and one weight-related health condition—such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Nice said the jabs should not be taken for more than two years, though in July researchers at Ulster University said that obese people should be prepared to take weight-loss jabs for life

Wegovy works by signaling the brain targeting the GLP-1 receptor, to reduce hunger and prompting the pancreas to release insulin and triggering feelings of fullness.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said he wanted the NHS to be at the “front of the pack” when it came to being able to dispense weight-loss drugs.

The NHS announcement comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a £40 million two-year pilot to explore how approved drugs, such as Wegovy, can be made available to more people by expanding specialist weight management services outside hospitals.

Short Supply

Novo Nordisk claimed that semaglutide is in short supply and it expects it “to be constrained for the foreseeable future”.

A “proportion of available supply” has been allocated to NHS services.

“We will continue to work with healthcare professionals to help ensure that patients with the highest unmet medical need are prioritised,” the company said.

“We are closely monitoring Wegovy demand and are working with regulators and providers to ensure people living with obesity can have access to and remain on treatment.”

An NHS spokesperson said: “Despite global supply constraints, NHS England is taking action to begin implementing Nice guidance for weight management, while at the same time working to restore supplies of this class of drug for people with type 2 diabetes.

“Around 50,000 eligible patients in England could be prescribed Wegovy through NHS specialist weight management services, that are able to provide appropriate multidisciplinary care.”


London chapter leader of The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) Philip Ridley said the push to medicate obesity was “highly problematic.”

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