Wegovy Semaglutide injections
Launch of Wegovy in the UK
Semaglutide (Wegovy) is available on the NHS as a possible treatment for managing weight alongside a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity in adults if they meet certain criteria.
Currently, we cannot prescribe the drug in the practice and must follow a strict process if a patient wishes to pursue the treatment.
(GETTY IMAGES) Semaglutide injectable
What is Wegovy?
Wegovy is a newly approved semaglutide injection, it will be available under new changes to NICE guidance.
Research suggests the treatment could help people shed significant amount of body weight by making the user feel full and therefore reducing appetite.
The treatment is very new and is currently still under trail with some benefits and risks still being investigated. Generally, trials do suggest the effectiveness of the treatment and benefits to its use, there are still some concerns around potential risks during and after treatment to be considered. It is also important to remember that the jab is not a quick fix, nor a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise.
How can I access the treatment?
Under NHS guidelines, patients can only access Wegovy, which contains the drug semaglutide, if they meet certain clinical criteria in the overweight or obesity range and also have weight-related health problems. Eligible patients could be prescribed the treatment through specialist weight-management services, alongside lifestyle, diet and exercise advice.
Currently the drug is known as a ‘red drug’, meaning it is only available via hospital in Devon, strictly for use in weight management clinics only.
These guidelines mean we cannot prescribe the drug at the practice.
If a patient wishes to pursue this treatment, we need the following:
- Patient to request appointment to discuss Wegovy for weight management
- Attend a consultation with a practice nurse for assessment
- Undertake any required tests (Such as blood tests etc)
- if deemed clinically appropriate, we will refer to weight management clinic
We are unable to refer patients directly to the weight management clinic without following these steps above.
We will always prioritise our appointments by clinical need and our team follows a triage system to properly do this, this means you may be asked questions relating to your lifestyle, weight and health when requesting an appointment.
Please note: Wegovy is not to be used as a replacement for any other glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonist drugs that are currently unavailable for the management of diabetes