London – Major drug store chain in the United Kingdom is planning to start selling the weight loss drug Vegovy, a wildly different version of popular ozempic brandThis year, as the company making both says it is working to increase supplies of the popular semaglutide drug to Europe.
Semaglutide works by mimicking the action of a hormone that makes people feel full, blunting their appetite so they eat less. Ozempic is marketed and prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but its dramatic weight loss side effect has made it popular among celebrities for that purpose. Vegovi, made by the Denmark-based pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, is marketed specifically for weight loss and comes in high doses.
nail in Popularity of Semaglutide led to a surge in demand, Leading to a Shortage in the US earlier this year.
Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released draft guidance recommending Vegovi for people with obesity, and its final guidance is expected on 8 March. This guidance will begin to be provided in the form of formal instructions to the UK National Health Service. medicine for patients who need it, a NICE spokesperson told CBS News.
“We know that managing overweight and obesity is one of the biggest challenges our healthcare system is facing with almost two thirds of adults being either overweight or obese. It is a lifelong condition requiring medical intervention It has psychological and physiological effects, and can affect quality of life,” Helen Knight, program director of the Center for Health Technology Assessment at NICE, said in a statement.
Jo Dent, an NHS worker who visited a private doctor to obtain a prescription for Ozempic late last year after struggling to lose weight, told CBS News that semaglutide rekindled her relationship with food. helped shape it. He said that making it more easily available would be a good thing for the country’s healthcare.
“I think it will support people in reducing the burden on the NHS in terms of the challenges of obesity and what this means for other health conditions,” she said. “It’s not a quick fix and it’s not the only answer, but it will really help you if you want to lose weight.”
At least one major drugstore chain in the UK plans to start prescribing and selling Vegovy privately through its online doctor service this year. Boots, the largest national pharmacy chain, already offers an online prescription service for the drug, while competitor Superdrug has created a waiting list.
While declining to offer specific countries or timing, a spokesperson for Novo Nordisk said that the company “really wants to make sure that we only launch when we can provide the product. So obviously, we’ve changed our supply chain.” We’ve invested a lot. A lot, where our construction is now running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The spokesperson added that even after NICE guidelines are published in the UK next week, WeGovi will only be available to the NHS once the company has enough supplies to offer it on the market.
“We don’t have a concrete launch timing,” the spokesperson told CBS News. “We are looking to make it available as soon as possible.”
Novo Nordisk launched WeGovi in Norway and Denmark late last year, and the spokesperson said the company hopes to launch in several additional European countries in 2023.
“We are clearly focused on continuing to produce for Europe and supply to the US,” the spokesperson told CBS News.
NICE said the list price of Vegovy in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg and 1.0 mg doses was £73.25 (about $88) per pack of four pre-filled injection pens, but that if it becomes available on the NHS, it will either Will be free or require patients to pay a standard prescription fee of approximately $10 per order, depending on the cost structure.
The list price for a single pack of four Vagovi injection pens is $1,349 in the US, but some health insurance plans will cover at least part of that cost.
In the UK, Wegovy will only be available to obese adults who have at least one additional condition, such as heart disease or high blood pressure. This should be prescribed by a doctor or someone with specialist qualifications.