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Novo Nordisk launches weight-loss drug Wegovy in the UK market

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Novo Nordisk, the Danish drug manufacturer, has launched Wegovy, a weight-loss drug, in the UK market. This semaglutide injection will be available through specialist NHS weight management services for those who meet the National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE) criteria or privately through registered healthcare professionals.

Novo Nordisk allocated a portion of the available supply of Wegovy for NHS services, while confirming the existing shortage of semaglutide and projecting continued constraints in the foreseeable future. The drug can be obtained through the NHS and is additionally accessible for private purchase at pharmacies in the UK. The pricing for a one-month supply varies, ranging from £73.25 to £175.80, depending on the dosage.

“We are committed to expanding treatment options for individuals with obesity and share the Government’s goal of improving access to obesity care in areas of high unmet medical need,” the company said in a statement. “We are closely monitoring Wegovy demand and collaborating with regulators and providers to ensure access to and continuity of treatment for people living with obesity.”

In June, the government initiated a £40 million pilot program to increase access to weight-loss injections aimed at addressing obesity. Approximately 50,000 eligible patients in England may receive Wegovy prescriptions through NHS specialist weight management services capable of delivering comprehensive multidisciplinary care.

NICE approved Wegovy for NHS use earlier this year, indicating it should be utilised for a maximum of two years. Eligible individuals must have a body mass index exceeding 30 and at least one weight-related co-morbidity.

Meanwhile, the introduction of Wegovy in the UK boosted the Danish company’s market value to $428 billion, surpassing the French luxury retailer LVMH to become Europe’s most valuable company.

In August, Novo Nordisk said that Wegovy demonstrated effectiveness in addressing heart failure in obese individuals, emphasising the drugmaker’s aim to showcase the medication’s health benefits extending beyond its primary weight loss function.

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