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When will Wegovy be available in the UK?

When will Wegovy be available in the UK?

Wegovy is a new injectable weight loss medication licensed for use in the UK. But due to supply issues, it can be difficult to get hold of right now. This page has all the information you need to know on the Wegovy shortage, and when Wegovy will be available.

Alexandra Cristina Cowell
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Alexandra Cristina Cowell, Writer & Clinical Content Reviewer
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Medically reviewed by
Dr Alexandra Cristina Cowell
Writer & Clinical Content Reviewer
on October 23, 2023.
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Why is there a Wegovy shortage?

The main reason for the Wegovy shortages is a lack of supply to meet demand. There are a few factors that are contributing to these Wegovy supply chain issues; it’s a brand new drug, and there’s a very high demand for it, both from the NHS and from private healthcare companies. But right now there’s only a limited stock available from suppliers. This is due to restrictions put in place by the manufacturers to control and limit the launch of Wegovy.

“The demand for Wegovy is even higher than it might be otherwise due to a shortage of Ozempic, a type-2 diabetes medication that contains the same active ingredient as Wegovy,” said our pharmacist prescriber Craig Marsh.

“Because it has the same active ingredient, Ozempic can help people lose weight in the same way Wegovy does.” This has led to Ozempic being frequently prescribed off-label for weight loss, which caused the supply of Ozempic for people with type-2 diabetes to not meet demand.

So until shortages are resolved, the latest guidance for clinicians is not to prescribe Ozempic outside of its approved use for diabetes. This has caused a lot of people who were using Ozempic for weight loss to try and move over to Wegovy instead.

TREATED PHARMACIST Sanjeda Chowdhury:

“As a customer, the reasons for the Wegovy shortage can be really unclear. It’s understandable that people might think the manufacturer should just produce more Wegovy to meet the high demand. But the manufacturers are already spending billions to speed up their output of Wegovy – and it still might not be enough to completely fulfill the demand, as shortages are thought to continue into next year. The global demand from institutions like the NHS and private healthcare companies is just that great.”

What’s more, another weight-loss injection called Saxenda which uses a similar (but slightly different) active ingredient is experiencing stock shortages, too.

“Healthcare professionals have been advised to move patients that are taking Saxenda on to alternative treatments – like Wegovy,” said Craig. “This has contributed even more to why there’s still a shortage of Wegovy.”

When will Wegovy be available in the UK?

Wegovy’s been available for purchase in the UK since September 2023 – but supply issues have caused disruption to its accessibility. Due to the controlled and limited launch from its manufacturers and its immense popularity, there just hasn’t been the supply to meet the demand.

Part of the reason the demand for Wegovy is so high is because it’s so effective for weight loss. At the end of the 68-week trial comparing Wegovy to Placebo, the mean change in body weight from baseline was -14.9% in the group that was taking Wegovy, compared with just -2.4% with placebo. 86.4% of those taking Wegovy also achieved weight loss of 5% or more, compared to just 31.5% of the placebo group. 69.1% of people in the Wegovy group experienced weight loss of 10% or more (compared to 12% in the placebo group), and 50.5% of those on Wegovy lost 15% or more of their body weight (as opposed to 4.9% in the placebo group).

Right now we don’t know exactly when Wegovy will be readily available in the UK, or how long the Wegovy shortage will last – but it’s thought the supply chain issues could extend into 2024.

However, the manufacturers are putting a lot of resources into boosting their output of Wegovy in order to meet the high demand. When production can keep up with the soaring demand, and if other weight-loss treatments like Saxenda become available again to spread the demand across more products, Wegovy should become easier to get your hands on (both online through private companies, and through the NHS).

Where can I buy Wegovy?

Right now it can be difficult to get hold of Wegovy from anywhere because supply issues are affecting available stock. But if you want to know where to buy Wegovy in the UK, we can make getting your weight-loss treatment less of a hassle. When you order Wegovy online with us, if there are stock issues that impact you getting your treatment our clinicians can recommend alternatives instead. And we’ll keep you in the loop, notifying you whenever Wegovy comes back in stock. Just hit the get notified button at the top of this page, if you want to stay updated.

If your BMI is over 35, or if your BMI is over 30 and you have a health condition related to your weight, you can also get Wegovy through the NHS in the UK. But it can only be prescribed through specialist weight management services, so you’ll have to speak to your GP for a referral if you meet the criteria.

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