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Can you get Wegovy on the NHS?

Robbie Puddick
Written by

Robbie Puddick

Medically reviewed by

Fiona Moncrieff

4 min read
Last updated July 2024
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Jump to: How much weight will I lose on Wegovy? | How does Wegovy compare to weight loss without medication? | Why should I choose Second Nature for a weight-loss injection? | Wegovy information

You can get Wegovy on the NHS, but you must meet strict eligibility criteria and have a referral from your GP to a specialist weight-management programme.

To get a Wegovy prescription on the NHS, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Meet the criteria for specialist weight management services in your area
  • Have a BMI of over 35 (or 30 if you meet the criteria for your local weight-management service)
  • Have at least one obesity-related comorbidity such as cardiovascular disease or hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Conventional interventions have failed to support weight loss

However, the reality is that at the moment (as of July 2024), very little Wegovy is being prescribed in the NHS.

This will hopefully change in the coming months and years as new funding pots and referral pathways open up, but this hasn’t happened yet.

Second Nature provides Wegovy privately as part of our Wegovy weight-loss programme – where we focus on helping people create new habits alongside taking the medication. This is both to maximise weight loss results but also to make sure people are eating in the correct way to minimise side effects like tiredness.

To understand if you’re eligible for our Wegovy programme, you’ll firstly need to complete our health quiz.

Check my eligibility

How much weight will I lose on Wegovy?

Wegovy leads to an average weight loss of 15-20% after 68 weeks and is more effective than other weight-loss injections, like Saxenda.

A meta-analysis investigated the impact of semaglutide (Wegovy) and liraglutide (Saxenda) and suggested that semaglutide was more effective at lowering blood sugar levels (as measured by HbA1c).

The study showed that a 0.5mg dose of semaglutide led to a more significant reduction (0.17%) in HbA1c than liraglutide.

The 1mg dose of semaglutide showed a further benefit compared to 1.2mg and 1.7mg of Saxenda at 0.47% and 0.3%, respectively.

However, the studies used to compare the two drugs were from individual trials, comparing one of the medications with a placebo (a sugar pill). They hadn’t yet been compared directly with one another.

Fortunately, a randomised controlled trial was conducted in 2022 investigating the impact of semaglutide and liraglutide on weight loss in individuals living with obesity.

The results showed that the participants in the semaglutide group lost 15.8% of their body weight compared to 6.4% in the liraglutide group.

Semaglutide was also shown to be more tolerated than liraglutide. 13.5% of participants in the semaglutide group discontinued their treatment due to side effects, compared to 27.6% with liraglutide.

Over 80% of participants in both groups reported common side effects and GI-related issues such as constipation, cramping, bloating, and diarrhoea.

Due to the positive results from these studies, Semaglutide was made available in 2023 in the UK after the U.S. approved the drug in 2021.

How does Wegovy compare to weight loss without medication?

Lifestyle interventions without semaglutide tend to lead to an average weight loss of around 5-10%.

Losing and maintaining weight loss of more than 10% is associated with significantly reducing complications related to obesity, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

A recent paper published in The Lancet showed that nearly 20% of participants in lifestyle interventions without medications gain weight, around 40% lose between 1-10% of their body weight, and just 13% lose more than 10%.

In comparison, less than 5% of participants combining semaglutide with lifestyle interventions gain weight, around 10% lose between 1-10%, and 87% lose more than 10%.

So, 47% more people lose more than 10% of body weight on lifestyle interventions with semaglutide compared to lifestyle interventions alone.

Take home message

Weight-loss injections are most effective when combined with a healthier lifestyle. They can help kickstart weight loss while you commit to developing healthier habits.

Mounjaro and other weight loss injections, like Ozempic and Wegovy, can allow you to make lifestyle changes to support long-term weight loss.

These medications can help silence food-related thoughts and give you a boost of confidence with more immediate weight-loss results.

They can also buy you the time and headspace to understand why your body may have struggled to lose weight and build new long-term healthy habits.

The core focus of our medication programmes is to calm down the feeling of food noise, lower your cravings, and allow you to build healthier habits to keep the weight off for good.

The ultimate goal is to make losing weight feel second nature.

Second Nature’s medication-supported programmes

Second Nature has two medication-supported programmes: a Wegovy weight-loss programme and a Mounjaro weight-loss programme.

If you’ve made the decision to try Wegovy or Mounjaro (assuming you’re eligible), why should you choose Second Nature over other medication providers?

For peace of mind.

Second Nature has worked with the NHS for over 6 years providing weight-loss programmes across the UK.

Whilst our Wegovy and Mounjaro weight-loss programmes are private and not currently used by the NHS, we’ve built the programmes with a focus on scientific evidence, patient safety, and data security.

We hope that our 6+ years of working with the NHS and building a track record of effective weight-loss results will give you peace of mind to give us a try.

Check my eligibility

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Make losing weight feel Second Nature

The first step on your Second Nature journey is to take our health quiz.

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