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‘Game-changing’ controversial fat-loss jabs approved for prescriptions in Scotland

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A FAT-busting jab made popular by celebrities and online influencers has been approved for prescription in Scotland.

Wegovy claims around half of adults taking it alongside a healthy diet and exercise lost around 15 per cent of weight in just over a year.

Wegovy was approved today to be prescribed as a weight loss drug in the NHSCredit: Reuters
The new drug will be prescribed alongside a healthy diet and exercise to help with obesity in ScotlandCredit: PA

The controversial weight-loss jab was approved alongside advice for eleven other medicines by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) today.

It is advised to be prescribed to people with a BMI higher than 30kg/m2 and at least one weight-related health condition.

It is designed to suppress the appetite by mimicking a gut hormone called GLP-1 which is released after eating and slows down the movement of food to keep you fuller for longer.

The injection is managed with a healthier diet and exercise and has seen people lose 12 per cent more of their body weight when on the maximum dose.

We previously revealed how diabetes patients in Scotland were being denied vital drugs, also known as GLP-1, after demand for them soared after going viral online.

The medicine has become increasingly popular with celebrities and endorsed by influencers on TikTok and Instagram.

Celebs including Amy Schumer and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson have also used the drug as an appetite suppressant.

Type-2 diabetes patients feared the shortage supply issue would last until at least mid-2024 with Diabetes Scotland previously saying this was “a major concern.”

In September, manufacturer Novo Nordisk said they expected supply chain issues to continue for the “foreseeable future” and a “proportion of available supply” will be given to the NHS.

But they confirmed they were also closely monitoring the Wegovy demand situation.

But Diabetes Scotland National Director John Kinnear previously warned existing stock should be preserved for people with Type 2 Diabetes.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society previously said having a long-term supply for all patients was important.

SMC Chair Dr Scott Muir said: “Obesity is a serious public health issue in Scotland.

“Used alongside a weight management programme including diet and exercise, semaglutide could assist carefully selected patients in their weight loss journey.”

The drug is one of 12 that were approved today including a new treatment to prevent migraines, and several drugs to help with cancer treatment.

Dr Muir added: “The committee is pleased to be able to accept these new medicines for a variety of conditions including breast, bowel and prostate cancer.

“This has been a record-breaking month for SMC in terms of the numbers of medicines that we have been able to accept for use in the NHS in Scotland.”

John Kinnear, National Director, Diabetes Scotland said: “Supporting people to lose weight is key to preventing type 2 diabetes and, for those with a diagnosis, in managing their blood sugar levels and even putting the condition into remission.

“Wegovy provides another weight loss treatment option for some people living with obesity or overweight who could be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes or who already have the condition.  

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“We hope that the launch of Wegovy will ease some of the pressures on the supply of GLP-1 medications by offering an option that is expressly for weight loss and therefore reducing off-label prescription of GLP-1 drugs licensed for type 2 diabetes.  

“Drugs such as Wegovy are an important and valid weight management tool for those living with or at risk of type 2 diabetes, and it is our view that people should be supported to find the approach that is most appropriate for them – whether that involves medication, dietary changes or bariatric surgery – with the wraparound support of weight loss management services.” 

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed he had used the weightloss drugCredit: AFP

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