The “King Kong” of weight loss medication - now approved for Type 2 Diabetes

Mounjaro, also known as Tirzepatide, has been approved to be prescribed in the UK for those living with type 2 diabetes. It could be available as early as October, dependent on supply by the US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.

Diabetes in the UK

Diabetes affects millions of people in the UK, with more than five million individuals living with this chronic condition. Among them, approximately 90% have type 2 diabetes. Sadly, nearly two-thirds of people with type 2 diabetes currently struggle to control their condition using existing medications, which can lead to severe complications such as kidney disease, vision problems, strokes, and heart attacks. 

Mounjaro: The King Kong of weight loss medication

Enter Tirzepatide, a promising treatment that could offer new hope to those grappling with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)  independent committee reviewed clinical data and concluded that Mounjaro, when used in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise regimen, could significantly improve the management of this condition.

Clinical trials have shown remarkable results, with Mounjaro leading to substantial reductions in both blood sugar levels and body weight compared to other treatment options like Wegovy.  In the clinical trials, after just a year, a third of type 2 diabetics taking the medication lost more than 20 percent of their body weight, significantly more than rivals.

 It led US diabetes expert Dr Julio Rosenstock to declare it ‘King Kong’ compared to ‘the gorilla’ of semaglutide, the key ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic.


A Positive Recommendation from NICE

NICE's committee reached this positive recommendation after comprehensive analysis, including additional data and modeling provided by Eli Lilly. Helen Knight, director of medicines evaluation at NICE, highlighted the significance of this decision, stating, "There are very few new medicines being developed to treat difficult-to-manage type 2 diabetes. Our committee recognized the potential Mounjaro has to provide an effective and good-value treatment option for all those living with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes."

This groundbreaking recommendation not only offers renewed hope to individuals battling the condition but also promises to be a cost-effective solution for the NHS and taxpayers alike.


What's Next?

The final guidance on Mounjaro is set to be published on October 11, 2023. Following this, the treatment will become available in the NHS within 90 days, depending on the supply of the licensed product by the manufacturer. It's essential to note that Mounjaro is administered via weekly injections, making it a convenient option for patients.

Separately, it is hoped that Mounjaro will soon be available for weight management. Eli Lilly has made an application to the MHRA, the UK medicines regulator for it to be licensed to those with a BMI above 30.

Published: 08 Sept  2023