Wegovy is delayed - but you can start your weight loss journey today

The launch of Wegovy has been delayed in the UK as the manufacturer seeks to ensure guaranteed supply once roll-out starts. But there are lots of alternatives to Wegovy to get your weight loss journey started. And CheqUp will help you change between drugs when required

Why is Wegovy delayed, and until when?

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.

The manufacturer, Novo Nordisk of Denmark, is concerned that the demand it has seen throughout the world for Wegovy means that it needs more time to build up stocks before launching. We were told by the company that it doesn't want people to start on the medication - only to then stop after a few months due lack of supply. We wholly support this view. 

Although many will be disappointed by this, there are other medications available which can be considered

Consider Saxenda for similar early weight loss

There are many great alternatives to Wegovy - some of which have very similar weight loss in the first few months. 

Take a look at the graph above and you'll see that the weight loss from Saxenda is even better in the first three months than Wegovy. At the end of the first three months, weight loss from both drugs is about 6% - or over 6kg for anyone weighing over 100kg. 

The chart also shows the weight loss for those who took part in the clinical trial of Mounjaro, which is produced by Eli Lilly. This indicates weight loss of about 22-23%. Mounjaro is currently gaining licence approval in the UK and we hope that it may be available by the end of this year. 

With both Wegovy and Mounjaro you will be able to switch over to a higher dose from Saxenda - so you won't have to start your dose increase ("dose titration") period again. 

"Wegovy in a pill" (Rybelsus) and others

An obvious replacement for Wegovy is Rybelsus - which contains the same active ingredient as Wegovy, Semaglutide, but is taken as a pill. Rybelsus is an oral form of semaglutide, a medication used to treat obesity and overweight patients with a BMI of 27 or greater who also have at least one weight-related health condition such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.  Rybelsus is taken orally once a day, without food after waking up.

Trulicity (based on the active ingredient dulaglutide) is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1) that helps to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion and reducing glucagon production. It is administered through a pre-filled pen device, which contains a single dose of the medication. Trulicity is made by Eli Lilly, the US pharmaceutical company behind Tirzepatide, a highly-effective weight loss drug which is expected to be made available in the UK laster this year.  Clinical trials have shown that Trulicity is effective in reducing blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and produces a lower risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke.

For the most price-conscious, the obvious option is Orlistat, which is also marketed as Xenical. Orlistat works by blocking the absorption of some of the fat consumed in the diet. It is taken orally  up to three times per day. Studies have shown that, on average, people taking Orlistat may lose up to 5% to 10% of their initial body weight over six months to a year. There is no dose increase or titration period with Orlistat. The recommended dose is one 120mg capsule taken with each main meal that contains fat, up to three times per day. 

Published: 22 May 2023