High-street chemists to begin offering Wegovy weight loss jab

The drug makes people feel full. Credit: PA

A number of UK high-street chemists are to begin selling a fat-busting drug to customers in the UK which suppresses a person's appetite through mimicking the hormone released after eating.

Wegovy, also known as semaglutide, is a prescription drug and was recently approved to be available on the NHS.

The drug works by replicating the effects produced by a hormone - glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) - which is released by a person after they have eaten.

When the hormone is secreted it makes people feel full, meaning they eat less and lose weight.

Boots has said it will make the drug available via its Online Doctor function and is aiming for prescriptions to begin from Spring.

People are also able to register their interest in Wegovy online at Superdrug and Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor.

Wegovy shares the same ingredient as Ozempic - a diabetes drug - but the two are prescribed and regulated as different medicines in the UK.

Boots has said it has "no plans to offer Ozempic for weight loss" via its online service.

Wegovy is licensed for those who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over or a BMI of 27 or over with weight-related conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease or sleep apnoea.

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A spokesperson for Boots said: "The Boots Online Doctor Weight Loss Treatment service is for customers who are worried that their weight is impacting their health.

"Customers will have access to treatment following their completion of an online consultation form, which will be assessed by a clinician.

"Those who are offered treatment will receive follow up touch points and support from the Boots Online Doctor service throughout their weight loss journey and can access advice and support from our pharmacy teams in stores."

Earlier this month it was announced that the drug would be available on the NHS after a watchdog approved its use.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said people on the weekly injections saw their weight drop by 12% on average after 68 weeks.

Clinical trial evidence showed that people lose more weight with semaglutide together with supervised weight loss coaching than with support alone.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy is a prescription drug that doctors may recommend to help with weight management.

Used alongside exercise and a low calorie diet for long-term weight loss it can help adults and children over 12 lose weight.

While the drug has been approved for use on the NHS, it comes with a long list of potential side-effects.

Some of which range from fairly mild symptoms such as bloating or headaches to much more serious boxed warnings such a risk of Thyroid Cancer.

Due to this risk, doctors usually will not prescribe Wegovy if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (a type of thyroid cancer).