Wegovy: Weight loss drug used by Hollywood A-listers ‘to be sold in Boots from Spring’
A diabetes drug used by Hollywood actors to lose weight will be available in the UK in spring, according to reports.
Semaglutide, known as Wegovy in the US, will soon be available in Boots under the brand name Ozempic.
The drug's maker, Novo Nordisk, will start selling the drug “as soon as possible”, according to the Mail on Sunday report.
Users of the Slimming Injection told the paper they pay around £180 a month for the treatment, but the retail price has yet to be finalized.
Trials by the Danish pharmaceutical company found that those who took it lost an average of 2.5 stone compared to those who took a placebo. One-third lost an average of one-fifth of their total body weight.
This drug is injected into the stomach by itself once a week.
Twitter boss Elon Musk has said he uses the drug to stay in shape, while Kim Kardashian is rumored to have used semaglutide to lose 7kg to fit in a dress Marilyn Monroe once wore.
Semaglutide is a synthetic form of a hormone called GLP-1 that is released by the body when we eat.
This hormone slows the passage of food through the stomach and suppresses appetite, which can lead to weight loss.
According to the UK Health Survey, more than two-thirds (68%) of men aged 16-75 were classified as overweight or obese in 2019.
In draft guidance published last week, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said people with a BMI of 30 might be able to get semaglutide through the NHS.
Weight-related conditions that may qualify an obese person include high blood pressure, dyslipidemia (unbalanced or unhealthy cholesterol levels), obstructive sleep apnea, and heart disease.
Nice's ratification is subject to consultation.
Rachel Batterham, lead researcher on the project and professor of obesity, diabetes and endocrinology at UCL, described the drug as a “game changer” last week.
“For the first time, people can achieve with drugs what can only be achieved with bariatric surgery.”
A Boots spokesperson said: “Wegovy is a prescription-only weight loss drug that can help regulate appetite and reduce appetite.
“When used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet, increased physical activity, and healthy lifestyle choices, it can be an effective drug for achieving sustained weight loss.”