Connect with us

World

Revolutionary obesity jabs approved by NHS Scotland

Published

on


By Kate Foster For The Scottish Daily Mail

16:21 10 Jun 2024, updated 16:22 10 Jun 2024

  • Mounjaro can help people lose up to 20 per cent of their body weight over 36 weeks 
  • Up to a million Scots eligible for jab because they fit criteria for free NHS prescriptions
  • Similar weight loss treatments Ozempic and Wegovy have also recently been approved 



Scotland has become the first country in the UK to approve a revolutionary new treatment dubbed the ‘King Kong’ of obesity jabs.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium has ruled that Mounjaro can be made available on the NHS to people to help them lose weight.

Mounjaro is the latest in a line of slimming injections that have seen users shed huge amounts of weight, and is one of the most effective.

Up to one million Scots are technically now eligible for the powerful drug because they fit the criteria for a free NHS prescription.

It can be prescribed to those who are obese with an accompanying health condition caused by their weight, such as high blood pressure or sleep apnoea where breathing problems interrupt sleep.

Fat busting jab Mounjaro has approved for use by NHS Scotland by the Scottish Medicines Consortium

The SMC report says up to 30,000 people a year are likely to receive the weekly jabs but admits this could be a ‘significant underestimate’.

It will cost the Scottish NHS £33.6million a year but the cost of obesity to the NHS is estimated at £600million a year.

Mounjaro is the brand name of a drug called tirzepatide, and is given as a weekly injection in various strengths.

It is the latest of a new generation of jabs that help people lose weight, similar to Ozempic and Wegovy which have also recently been approved by the SMC.

The drugs, known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs), suppress hunger by mimicking hormones indicating that the body is full.

But Mounjaro also slows the passage of food through the stomach.

Studies have found people can lose up to 20 per cent of their body weight over 36 weeks by taking Mounjaro.

The difference in results led US diabetes expert Dr Julio Rosenstock to declare Mounjaro ‘King Kong’ compared to ‘the gorilla’ of its rival Wegovy.

However people generally need to keep taking the medicine in order to maintain their weight loss.

Click here to resize this module

Mounjaro was recently approved by the SMC as a treatment for type 2 diabetes as it also helps boost the production of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar.

But the latest ruling paves the way for thousands of Scots without diabetes to receive injections to help them lose weight.

The SMC said it is only mainly recommended in people with a BMI of over 30 who also have other weight-related health problems. These are likely to include health conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.

It is expected that GPs and hospitals will prescribe the treatment to people who have tried but failed to lose weight through diet and exercise alone.

However there have been shortages of GLP-1 Ras because of soaring demand.

Last week the National Institute for Clinical Excellence gave draft approval to Mounjaro for obesity in England, but it is not expected to make a final decision until August at the earliest.

Sarah Le Brocq, director and founder of the All About Obesity patient organisation welcomed the SMC decision and said it will help improve people’s quality of life.

She said: ‘This is an important moment for people living with obesity, because until recently treatment options have been very limited.

‘Having access to treatments that can not only help people lose weight but maintain the weight loss is so exciting and a huge step forward.

‘Access to support and to effective treatments is vital to help improve quality of life and has the potential to help an estimated one million people in Scotland.’

SMC Vice Chair, Graeme Bryson, said: ‘Obesity is a serious public health issue in Scotland. 

‘The committee has accepted tirzepatide that will help patients with obesity lose and manage their weight when used together with exercise and a reduced-calorie diet. This is another option for people with weight-related health conditions.’

Continue Reading