Semaglutide weight loss injection launched in UK

Following Novo Nordisk’s announcement that its Wegovy injection for obesity demonstrated a 20 percent reduction in major adverse cardiovascular outcomes, the pharma giant has launched the semaglutide treatment in the UK.

Novo Nordisk Wegovy semaglutide weight loss injection launched in UK

Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide injection Wegovy® is now available as a treatment for obesity in the UK. The pharmaceutical company stated it believed that the launch of Wegovy will help provide an additional option to support people living with obesity in the UK.

The semaglutide injection is indicated as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for weight management.

The medicine will be provided through a controlled and limited launch. Therefore, while supply of the medicine is expected to be limited for the foreseeable future, Novo Nordisk stated that a proportion of available supply will be allocated for use only within the NHS.

Wegovy is accessible in specialist NHS weight management services for patients who meet the specified National Institute for Care and Excellence (NICE) criteria. It will also be available privately through a registered healthcare professional.

Evidence of efficacy for Wegovy

In headline data from its landmark trial evaluating cardiovascular outcomes in obese patients released last month, Novo Nordisk announced that semaglutide 2.4mg (Wegovy) demonstrated a 20 percent reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events.

It was in February 2022 that NICE recommended the obesity treatment in its draft guidance.

Prior to this new market launch, Wegovy was only available in Norway, Denmark, Germany and the US. Novo Nordisk’s obesity treatment is also expected to be filed for a label expansion in the US this year.

Semaglutide injection is indicated for adult patients with an initial Body Mass Index (BMI) of ≥30 kg/m2 (obesity), or ≥27 kg/m2 to <30 kg/m2 (overweight) in those who also have at least one weight-related comorbidity.

How does the obesity medicine work?

The once-a-week injection is administered via a pre-filled pen. Wegovy works via appetite suppression. The drug mimics the GLP-1, also known as glucagon-like peptide-1. This is a hormone that the body releases once food is consumed.