High-street chemists to begin offering Wegovy weight loss jab
A number of high street chemists are set to start selling customers in the UK a diet drug that suppresses appetite by mimicking the hormones released after eating.
Wegovy, also known as semaglutide, is a prescription medicine that was recently approved for use in the NHS.
The drug works by replicating the effects of a hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which is released by a person after eating.
When the hormone is secreted, it makes people feel full, which means they eat less and lose weight.
Boots said it will offer the drug through its online doctor function and plans to start prescribing it in the spring.
People can also register their interest in Wegovy online at Superdrug and Lloyds Pharmacy.
Wegovy has the same ingredients as Ozempic, a diabetes drug, but the two are prescribed and regulated as separate medicines in the UK.
Boots said it has “no plans to offer Ozempic weight loss products through its online service”.
Wegovy is approved for use in people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above or a BMI of 27 or above with a weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or sleep apnea.
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A Boots spokesperson said: “Boots online doctor weight loss treatment service is for customers who are concerned about their weight affecting their health.
“Clients will receive treatment after completing an online consultation form, which will be assessed by a clinician.
“Those undergoing treatment will have follow-up touchpoints and support from the Boots Online Doctor service throughout their weight loss journey and have access to advice and support from our in-store pharmacy team.”
It was announced earlier this month that the drug would be available on the NHS after regulators approved its use.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said those who received the weekly injections lost an average of 12% of their body weight after 68 weeks.
Evidence from clinical trials shows that people lose more weight when using semaglutide along with supervised weight loss guidance than with support alone.
What is Weigaowei?
Wegovy is a prescription medicine that your doctor may recommend to help with weight management.
Used with exercise and a low-calorie diet for long-term weight loss, it can help adults and children over 12 years of age lose weight.
Although the drug has been approved for use in the NHS, it has a long list of potential side effects.
Some of these range from fairly mild symptoms (such as bloating or headaches) to more serious boxed warnings (such as the risk of thyroid cancer).
Because of this risk, doctors usually will not prescribe Wegovy if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer (a type of thyroid cancer).