Weekly weight loss jabs are to be sold at high street pharmacies in the UK, sparking concern from health experts.
England’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has approved the use of two drugs, liraglutide and semaglutide, for certain people with obesity.
Known as GLP-1 analogues, they work by mimicking the hormones that help people feel full after eating.
However semaglutide – also known as the brand name Wegovy – is yet to be provided to the NHS by the manufacturer, Novo Nordisk, reports The Guardian.
Reports now suggest that when supplies are available in the UK, Wegovy will be available at high street chemists. This includes Boots and Superdrug via their online doctor services.
The weekly jabs are self-administered using a pre-filled pen.
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According to guidelines by NICE, the final NHS price agreed with NHS England for Wegovy (semaglutide 2.4mg) has not been disclosed.
Helen Knight is the programme director in the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE. She said the weight loss injections have been shown to work alongside changes to diet and exercise.
‘We know that management of obesity is one of the biggest challenges our health service is facing,’ she said.
‘Nearly two thirds of adults are either overweight or obese. It is a lifelong condition that needs medical intervention, has psychological and physical effects, and can affect quality of life.
‘But in recent years NICE has been able to recommend a new line of pharmaceutical treatments. [These] have shown that those people using them, alongside changes to their diet and exercise, have been able to reduce their weight.’
The recommendations say that semaglutide can only be offered in a specialist weight management service. They also highlight that they can only be used for a maximum of two years.
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