Novo Nordisk weight loss drug Wegovy launches in UK

Packages of the weight loss drug Wegovy from the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk can be found on the counter of a Danish pharmacy.

Stefan Trumpf | Alliance in pictures | Getty Images

Novo Nordisk launched its Wegovy weight loss injection in the UK on Monday, advancing the drug’s rollout in Europe despite ongoing supply constraints.

The Danish pharmaceutical giant said the weekly injection would initially be available “in a controlled and limited launch”, with only certain patients eligible to receive the drug through the country’s National Health Service.

To be eligible for treatment, patients must be registered with the NHS weight management service, have at least one weight-related condition and have a body mass index of 35, according to recommendations described by the National Institute for Care and Excellence.

The drug will also be available privately through a “licensed healthcare professional”, Novo Nordisk said in a statement. statementwithout adding more details.

Novo Nordisk declined to disclose the final price agreed with NHS England for the drug, but said NICE, the UK’s drug cost-effectiveness watchdog, had described it as a “cost-effective use of resources”. of the NHS”. He added that the cost in the private market will be “determined by approved prescribers”.

In the United States, Wegovy has a list price of $1,350 for a monthly dose, while in Europe it sells for between 170 and 300 euros ($190 to $330) per month.

British insurance company Avivawhich provides private health insurance to around 1.1 million Britons, said on Monday that Wegovy would not be covered by its policy, according to to Reuters.

“Closely monitor” supply issues

Wegovy’s UK expansion comes just over a month after the drug’s launch launched in Germany — its third European market at the time, after Denmark and Norway.

The growing demand for the weight loss drug, as well as a series of Clinical studies which indicates that it is wider health benefits, propelled the company’s shares to record highs. On Fridayhe briefly toppled the French luxury giant LVMH to become the most valuable company in Europe.

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Supply constraints continue to weigh heavily on the drug’s rollout, CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen told Reuters. event last month, it could be “a few years” before the company can satisfy all consumers.

In the UK, Novo Nordisk said “a proportion” of available supply would be specifically allocated to NHS treatment and that the company would work with healthcare professionals to ensure that “patients with unmet medical needs highest satisfaction levels” are given priority.

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

The company also has limited provisions in other markets. In May, he reduced the U.S. supply of starter doses to ensure continuity for existing patients, while in Germany he advised doctors to “prescribe responsibly.” limiting prescriptions to patients with medical needs.

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