NICE recommends Liraglutide for treatment of obesity and non-diabetic hyperglycaemia

Liraglutide (Saxenda) will be offered to adults with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia and a high risk of cardiovascular disease.

fat man measuring his stomach with a tape measure

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended a new treatment for adults managing obesity and non-diabetic hyperglycaemia alongside a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.

Novo Nordisk’s Liraglutide (Saxenda) will be offered to adults with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia who have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35 kg/ m2 and have a high risk of cardiovascular disease because of risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.

The drug comes in pre-filled injection pens, which will be prescribed by a specialist multidisciplinary tier 3 weight management service.

The draft guidance provided by NICE states that if patients do not lose at least five percent of body weight after 12 weeks on the full dose then the treatment should be discontinued. Treatment for all patients will stop after two years.

The product has not been recommended before dues to concerns over the cost-effectiveness estimate, which was highly uncertain and potentially much higher than NICE considers a cost-effective use of National Health Service (NHS) resources. However, the company has now agreed a confidential discount with NHS England and NHS Improvement, which reduces this uncertainty.

Meindert Boysen, deputy chief executive and director of the Centre for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said: “There is a real need for more treatment options for obese adults with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia who have a high risk of experiencing the adverse consequences of obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“Our independent committee was presented with clinical evidence which showed that people lose more weight with liraglutide plus lifestyle measures than with lifestyle measures alone. Liraglutide may also delay the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and this is the main benefit of treatment.”