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How much does Mounjaro cost in the UK?

Everything you need to know about accessing tirzepatide.

How Much Does Mounjaro Cost in the UK? | Juniper

When it comes to weight loss, chances are you've tried everything. From the latest fitness fads to a reduced calorie diet, religiously hitting that step count or taking cold plunges. It's enough to leave you exhausted and drained of energy.

While there might not be a quick fix for weight loss treatment, you need support and guidance to achieve sustainable results. It's for this very reason that weight loss medications like Wegovy, and Mounjaro are all having a moment in the spotlight, having been found to help aid weight loss.

If you've heard about Mounjaro (tirzepatide), you might know that the effect of the prescription medication on diet (specifically food-seeking behaviour) and its ability to regulate appetite has now come to see it be hailed as a weight loss drug, helping individuals to kickstart their weight loss journey as they commit to making better changes and living a healthier lifestyle.

If you're curious about how much Mounjaro costs in the UK and how this weight loss treatment works, we share everything you need to know about Mounjaro as a weight loss tool.

How does Mounjaro work?

Mounjaro contains the active ingredient tirzepatide, which comes from a class of drugs called GLP-1 agonists. When you consume food, your gut releases a hormone called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) that helps the body regulate hunger and blood sugar levels.

Medications like Mounjaro, Wegovy, and Saxenda all try to mimic the actions of this GLP-1 hormone. Where Mounjaro differs, however, is that it also mimics another hormone: glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP).

GLP-1s work by improving insulin function to lower blood sugar levels, as well as delaying gastric emptying, which then serves to decrease appetite. They also communicate with the brain’s appetite control centre — the hypothalamus — to reduce food-seeking behaviour. 

In addition, GIP is a hormone released in response to food that helps fat cells to 'absorb' more excess energy, preventing fat from being stored in the liver or pancreas. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

As a result, Mounjaro helps to reduce appetite which can make individuals feel fuller for longer. It’s for this reason that those taking the medication often report eating fewer calories, with reduced calorie intake being an essential part of any weight loss programme.

According to a 2021 study, participants who took Mounjaro reported sharper reductions in blood sugar levels and greater weight loss than those taking Wegovy and Ozempic [1].

Mounjaro is taken weekly via injection, with patients typically starting on a 2.5mg-dose injection once weekly for 4 weeks.

As appetite becomes better regulated, patients find they have greater control in sticking to a diet, which has led the drug to be hailed as an effective weight loss tool, especially when combined with regular exercise and a balanced diet.

Is Mounjaro effective for weight loss?

When it comes to weight loss, the saying rings true: there are no quick fixes or magic pills. Despite this, to effectively lose weight in a sustainable manner, support is critical. Weight loss injections can serve as additional tools that help you kickstart your weight loss journey as you look to make a number of lifestyle changes. 

With your appetite levels under control, weight loss injections can help set you up for success and give you the support needed to create sustainable lifestyle habits that will stick for the long term.

Interestingly, Mounjaro doesn't just offer benefits to patients navigating diabetes. In fact, the research found that study participants who did not have diabetes and took tirzepatide lost up to 22.5% of their body weight after 72 weeks [2].

Are there any side effects of taking Mounjaro for weight loss?

Mounjaro may be effective for weight loss, but that doesn't mean it's not without its side effects. The most common side effects reported by those taking a Mounjaro prescription include feelings of nausea, diarrhoea, decreased appetite, vomiting, constipation, and indigestion due to the medication's impact on the digestive system [3].

These side effects were typically experienced around the time of injection and when you increase your dosage, with most patients finding their body adjusted and side effects eased off with continued treatment. In rare instances, the drug can lead to renal failure, pancreatitis, hypoglycemia, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Mounjaro also comes with a boxed warning, which refers to the most serious warning offered by the Food and Drug Administration. According to the FDA, using Mounjaro may increase your risk of developing thyroid cancer. For those with a family member or history of any kind of thyroid cancer, doctors are unlikely to prescribe the medication.

Despite this, it's important to remember that everyone responds differently to medications, with some experiencing no side effects while others might encounter persistent issues. Make sure to chat with your healthcare provider to ensure this treatment is the right choice for you.

If you're thinking of giving Mounjaro a go, here's what you need to know about where it's available in the UK and how much it will set you back.

Is Mounjaro available in the UK?

Moujaro isn’t available in the UK just yet (we'll keep on top of it and update this information if it changes).

However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is reviewing the use of tirzepatide for people living with obesity as a weight loss injection, with their findings expected to be published in March 2024.

Should it be approved, it will likely have similar rules regarding its use on the NHS as Wegovy has, with patients only able to be prescribed the drug if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher — or a BMI of more than 27 and at least one weight-related illness — who commit to dieting and exercise plans.

How much does Mounjaro cost?

Since it isn't available in the UK, it's unclear how much the medication costs. We'll keep updating this as we learn more about a potential Mounjaro launch in the UK.

Can I get Mounjaro on the NHS?

No, currently, Mounjaro is approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the US to treat only type 2 diabetes and isn't available via private prescription in the UK.

In order to receive a tripeptide prescription via the NHS in the UK, you'll need to be living with type 2 diabetes. Here are the eligibility criteria you need to meet, as confirmed by NICE:

  • Triple therapy with Metformin and 2 other oral antidiabetic drugs is ineffective, not tolerated or contraindicated.
  • You have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 kg/m2 or more and specific psychological or other medical problems associated with obesity.
  • Or you have a BMI of less than 35 kg/m2 and insulin therapy would have significant occupational implications, or weight loss would benefit other significant obesity-related complications. Lower BMI thresholds apply for people from South Asian, Chinese, other Asian, Middle Eastern, Black African or African-Caribbean family backgrounds. 

Does private health insurance cover Mounjaro?

Though yet to be made available as a weight loss medication in the UK, in the United States, some insurance plans may cover Mounjaro for treating type 2 diabetes, depending on the insurance company.

The US also provides a Mounjaro Savings Card where individuals can receive up to 85% off and, depending on their eligibility, pay as little as $25 per month.

However, in order to qualify for the card, a person must be a resident of the United States or Puerto Rico, have a Mounjaro prescription for type 2 diabetes, and have commercial health insurance that does not cover Mounjaro. 

So, while we're not sure yet if this will be the same with insurance coverage here in the UK, we'll keep you updated as more information comes through.

Where can I buy Mounjaro in the UK?

While Mounjaro isn't currently available for the treatment of obesity in the UK, we do have access to other effective medications like Wegovy. And, for those looking to start their weight loss journey, support is critical from clinical experts and treatment programmes.

That's where Juniper's Weight Reset Programme can step in. Offering a medical approach to losing weight that sees the average patient lose over 13% of their body weight in one year, Juniper's programme is tailored to you. Designed by clinicians and dietitians, our programme works to effectively suppress appetite and improve metabolic function.

It uses the scientifically proven medication, Wegovy, that replicates the body’s natural GLP-1 hormone. If eligible for medicated weight loss, you'll receive access to Wegovy, digital health coaching, and weight loss tracking to guide you through your journey at every step.

With a private community to help keep you accountable to your weight loss goals, we take a holistic view of weight loss, equipping you with tools to help empower you to make informed decisions regarding a healthy diet and lifestyle changes that will stay with you for life.

Consider it a new era in weight loss, one that understands it's never about just the number on the scale but the confidence, energy and control you feel, too.

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