Wegovy launch delayed in the UK

The launch of Wegovy has been delayed in the UK as manufacturer seeks to ensure guaranteed supply once roll-out starts

Wegovy - what's happening?

The launch of Wegovy in the UK has been delayed - with no date being given for when it will become available. 

Articles in The Times and the Daily Telegraph (both of which quote Toby Nicol, the CEO & Founder of CheqUp) broke the news.

Until it is available, clients are advised to look for alternative weight loss treatments, such as those provided by CheqUp (https://chequp.com/pages/weight-loss).

Building up supply

Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Wegovy (which is based around the active ingredient of semaglutide), says it is working to make it available in the UK as soon as possible. The delay has been caused by the need to build up a high level of supply for the drug and the injection pen used to deliver it. Novo Nordisk is keen to avoid a repeat of the drug's launch in the US two years ago when demand exceeded available supply.

Wegovy - NHS implications

Wegovy was first licensed for with loss in the UK in September 2021.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) announced in March of this year that Wegovy could be given to patients with a BMI over 30 and at least one condition such as high blood pressure. About four million people in England are expected to be eligible for the drug on the NHS when it launches. The drug, used by celebrities including Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian, mimics a hormone that makes people feel full and has helped people reduce weight by more than 15% in trials. It is given as a weekly injection and is already available in the UK under the brand name Ozempic as a treatment for diabetes. Some doctors will prescribe it off label for weight loss.

The launch of Wegovy in the UK has been highly anticipated by both pharmacists and obesity experts with NHS hospitals and private providers, such as CheqUp, gearing up for the launch. 

The drug has been hailed as a "game changer" and is expected to help millions of eligible people in England. 

Published: 04 May 2023