Salem Radio Network News Sunday, September 24, 2023


Weight-loss drug Wegovy lands in Britain, online pharmacy says

By Maggie Fick

LONDON (Reuters) -British-based Simple Online Pharmacy said on Tuesday it had received supplies of Wegovy, a day after Novo Nordisk launched the keenly-anticipated weight-loss drug in its fifth market.

High market expectations and booming demand for Wegovy, shown to help patients reduce weight by around 15% when used alongside exercise and lifestyle changes, have lifted Novo’s share price to make the Danish drugmaker Europe’s most valuable listed company.

With many countries facing mounting healthcare problems due to rising obesity levels, Novo has been unable to produce enough to meet demand for Wegovy, which is now available in the United States, Norway, Denmark, Germany, and Britain.

A spokesperson declined to comment on the volume of Wegovy that Novo would deliver to Britain, but reiterated the Danish company’s statement on Monday that its launch would be “limited and controlled” due to supply constraints.

Novo said when announcing the launch in Britain that Wegovy will be available on the National Health Service’s weight management scheme and on the private market.

The Novo spokesperson said deliveries of Wegovy to a UK wholesaler had begun, but declined to comment on Simple Online Pharmacy’s statement that it had already received the drug.

Novo delivers its medicines to the wholesaler, which is then in control of onward distribution, the spokesperson said, declining to name the wholesaler involved.

A spokesperson for Juniper, a venture capital-backed private online clinic, told Reuters on Monday that the sole UK wholesaler for Wegovy is Alliance Healthcare.

Alliance Healthcare did not respond to attempts by Reuters to seek comment.

Some doctors and medical experts warned on Monday that people in Britain who can afford to pay out of their own pocket may get easier access to Wegovy than those seeking treatment in the country’s state-run health service.

The NHS did not immediately respond to a query from Reuters on Tuesday about whether it had received stocks of Wegovy.

(Reporting by Maggie Fick; editing by Jason Neely, Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith)


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