If you're one of the many people struggling with obesity, you may have heard about a new weight-loss prescription drug called Wegovy. This medication has been making headlines in the US, but what about its availability in the UK? We'll explore the current status of Wegovy's availability in the UK and what you need to know about this groundbreaking new drug.
- Wegovy is a weight loss prescription drug containing semaglutide.
- It works by activating GLP-1 receptors in the brain to reduce hunger and increase feelings of fullness.
- Wegovy has been approved by the FDA in the US and by the MHRA in the UK in 2021.
- Wegovy is not yet available in the UK as it's still in the process of approval by NICE and is expected to be available in 2023.
- Wegovy will be available on the NHS, but patients need to be referred to a specialist weight loss management service by their GP.
- Wegovy will be available through registered and qualified providers in the UK as a prescription-only treatment.
- Other weight loss treatments are currently available in the UK, such as lifestyle changes, diet and exercise, or other approved medications.
- Some potential benefits of Wegovy include significant weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and reduced risk of heart disease and other weight-related conditions.
- Some potential risks of Wegovy include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach aches, and headaches.
- Patients should always speak to their healthcare provider before starting any weight loss treatment.
What Is Wegovy?
Before we explore Wegovy's availability in the UK, let's first take a closer look at what this medication is and how it works. Wegovy is a weight loss drug containing the active ingredient, semaglutide.
Wegovy is an injectable medication that works by mimicking the effects of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). GLP-1 is produced naturally by the body and helps to regulate insulin levels, but it also has a role in appetite control. By activating the GLP-1 receptors in the brain, Wegovy can help reduce feelings of hunger and increase feelings of fullness, leading to significant weight loss.
We go through this more in depth in our Wegovy Weight Loss Treatment Page.
Wegovy Effectiveness and Approval
Wegovy has been making headlines in the US since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2021 then later in the UK by the Medicines and Health Products Regulations Agency (MHRA) in September 2021. Clinical trials showed that patients who took Wegovy experienced significant weight loss compared to those who took a placebo. In one trial, patients lost an average of 15% of their body weight over the course of 68 weeks.
Wegovy Availability in the UK
So, when can we expect Wegovy to be available in the UK? Unfortunately, at this time, there is no clear answer but it will be at some point in 2023. This medication is still in the process of approval since it's been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2022.
In the meantime, patients in the UK who are struggling with obesity may want to explore other options for weight loss, such as lifestyle changes, diet and exercise, or other medications that are already approved in the UK such Orlistat or Saxenda.
Will Wegovy Be Available on the NHS?
Wegovy will be available on the NHS. However, you will need to be referred to a specialist weight loss management service by your GP if you are eligible.
How Do You Get Wegovy When It Is Available in the UK?
Wegovy will be available through registered and qualified providers in the UK as a prescription only treatment. You cannot purchase Wegovy injections and self administer pens on your own.
Once available, you can book with our team of pharmacists, who will be able to provide guidance and determine if you are eligible for Wegovy weight loss treatment.
In the meantime, other weight loss treatments are currently available from our pharmacy. You can enquire more about our medicated weight management service online.
Potential Benefits and Risks
While Wegovy has shown great promise, it's important to understand the potential benefits and risks before considering this medication. Some potential benefits of Wegovy include:
- Significant weight loss
- Improved blood sugar control
- Reduced risk of heart disease and other weight-related conditions
However, there are also some potential risks to consider, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach aches
Wegovy is a groundbreaking new medication that has the potential to help millions of people struggling with obesity. While it has already been approved for use in the US, its availability in the UK is still to be determined but as of now it will be at some time in 2023.
In the meantime, it's important to remember that there are other options available for weight loss such as lifestyle changes, diet and exercise, and other medications that have already been approved in the UK. It's important to work with a healthcare provider or qualified pharmacist such as those at Kennedy's Pharmacy to determine the best approach for your individual needs.
Is Wegovy available in the UK?
As of April 2023, Wegovy is not yet available in the UK.
How does Wegovy work?
Wegovy works by mimicking the effects of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which helps regulate insulin levels and appetite.
What are the potential benefits of Wegovy?
Some potential benefits of Wegovy include significant weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and reduced risk of heart disease and other weight-related conditions.
What are the potential risks of Wegovy?
Some potential risks of Wegovy include nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, tiredness and constipation.
Always speak to your healthcare provider for any queries and concerns of the side effects of Wegovy.
What other options are available for weight loss in the UK?
Patients in the UK who are struggling with obesity may want to explore other options for weight loss, such as lifestyle changes, diet and exercise, or other medications that are already approved in the UK. It's important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best approach for your individual needs.
You can learn more about other weight loss prescribed medications in our medicated weight loss service page.
At Kennedy’s Pharmacy, our priority is to help you become the healthiest and happiest version of yourself. We strive to provide the best service for your health and wellbeing as well as displaying professionalism and encouragement, and giving expert medical and lifestyle advice to the wider community we serve.
Medicated Weight Clinic Management Programmes
The Medicated Weight Management Service can help you achieve healthy weight loss with support and health advice from your local pharmacists at Kennedy’s Pharmacy.
We offer two deliveries to this medicated service via weight loss injections or weight loss capsules. Click the button below to learn more!