Health

Novo Nordisk’s weight-loss drug Wegovy is launched in the UK

Packs of the weight loss drug Wegovy from the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk lie on the sales counter of a Danish pharmacy.

Stefan Trump | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Novo Nordisk launched its Wegovy weight-loss injection in the UK on Monday, spurring the drug’s launch in Europe despite ongoing supply shortages.

The Danish pharma giant said the weekly injection would initially be available “as part of a controlled and limited roll-out” and only certain patients would be eligible to have the drug administered through the country’s National Health Service.

To qualify for treatment, patients must participate in the NHS weight control service, have at least one weight-related condition and have a body mass index of 35 recommendations described by the National Institute for Care and Excellence.

The drug will also be available privately through a “registered doctor,” Novo Nordisk said in a statement opinionwithout adding any further details.

Novo Nordisk declined to disclose the final price agreed with NHS England for the drug, but said NICE, the UK regulator for drug cost-efficiency, had described it as a “cost-effective use of NHS resources”. It added that in the private market, costs are “set by licensed prescribing doctors”.

In the US, Wegovy has a list price of $1,350 for a monthly dose, while in Europe it retails for around €170-300 ($190-$330) per month.

British insurance company Avivawhich offers private health insurance to around 1.1million Britons, said on Monday that Wegovy was not covered by its policy. after to Reuters.

Supply problems are “closely monitored”.

Wegovy’s UK expansion comes just over a month after the drug’s launch Market launch in Germany – at that time the third European market after Denmark and Norway.

Rising demand for the weight-loss drug, along with a slew of clinical studies pointing to its broader health benefits, have propelled the company’s shares to record highs. On Friday, it briefly unseated French luxury goods giant LVMH to become Europe’s most valuable company.

Supply shortages continue to weigh on the drug’s launch, CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen told Reuters Newsmakers Event last month that it could be “a few years” before the company can satisfy all consumers.

In the UK, Novo Nordisk said that “part” of the available range will be made available specifically for NHS treatment and that the company will work with healthcare professionals to ensure “patients with the highest unmet medical needs” are given priority.

“We are closely monitoring demand for Wegovy and are working with regulators and providers to ensure people living with obesity can access and continue to receive treatment,” it said.

The company also has limited reserves in other markets. In May, starter dose supplies in the US were cut to ensure continuity for existing patients, while in Germany doctors were advised to “prescribe responsibly”. Limiting Prescriptions to patients with medical needs.

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