<> <> <> <>
Health Hub

Wegovy for weight loss: How much does it cost per month?

A breakthrough weight loss drug, here's how much it costs.

Wegovy Cost: How Much Does it Cost per Month? | Juniper

If you've heard the name semaglutide or Wegovy being thrown around in recent months, it's for good reason. Wegovy is a breakthrough weight loss drug that is backed by science and is available in the UK.

Wegovy is an effective weight loss medicine that can help people on their weight loss journey in combination with a reduced calorie diet and increased physical activity. But there's a lot of information out there about Wegovy from different countries and sources, which can be a little confusing to navigate.

Since each country has their own set of rules and standards about who can use the Wegovy treatment for weight management, we've put together your ultimate guide to help you make an informed choice that suits your needs.

We're breaking down everything you need to know from the cost of Wegovy to how it differs from Ozempic, which contains the same active ingredient semaglutide, who Wegovy is approved for and who can prescribe Wegovy in the UK.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy is a chronic weight loss and weight management medication belonging to a group of medications called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Wegovy (which contains the active ingredient, semaglutide) is an injectable prescription medication that is used for adults navigating obesity [1].

The weight loss medication comes in a pre-filled pen containing a single dose which is injected under the skin either in the abdomen, the upper arm or the thigh. It's administered through weekly injections around the same time of day each week and can be taken with or without meals.

Wegovy is prescribed for those with a body mass index (BMI) of over 30 or those with a BMI over 27 who also have a weight-related medical condition, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Can you buy Wegovy in the UK?

The UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved Wegovy for use as part of a patient's treatment in an NHS specialist weight management service.

Wegovy has been licensed in the UK for weight loss and will be available to those with a body mass index of 30 or over or who have a body mass index of 27 or over who also have weight-related conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or type two diabetes.

You can access Wegovy online via Juniper's Weight Reset Programme.

Is Wegovy prescription only?

Wegovy is a prescription medication and is available as part of a specialist weight management service from a holistic programme, like Juniper, and has recommended to only be used for a maximum of 2 years.

Clinical trials have shown that Wegovy as a weight loss treatment achieves the best results with supervision from weight loss coaching rather than taking Wegovy alone [7].

How much does Wegovy cost in the UK?

According to NICE, the list price of semaglutide (Wegovy) 2.4 mg is £175.80 per pack, for 1.7 mg is £124.53 per pack, and for 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg and 1.0 mg is £73.25 per pack. Each pack comes with 1 pre-filled pen [7]. This price is referencing to the price that wholesale suppliers charge to the NHS for the medication.

It doesn’t account for associated costs of prescribing, dispensing, delivering and support from our clinical team of dietitians and prescribers who are here to help you manage side effects and implement long-term habits to help you lose weight for good. The actual price that patients pay for Wegovy can vary considerably between providers.

How does Wegovy work?

Wegovy, like other weight loss drugs belonging to the same group, works by mimicking the GLP-1 receptor, which is naturally produced by the gut, pancreas and nervous system. These are all involved in regulating appetite, which can help reduce calorie intake and help people lose weight [2].

The GLP-1 receptor works by targeting parts of the brain involved in regulating appetite, especially after eating. It also works by slowing down the rate at which the stomach empties, which helps people feel fuller for longer and increases the production of insulin [2].

It's important to note that Wegovy works best when used in combination with a reduced calorie diet and increased exercise in order to achieve sustained weight loss.

What are the side effects of Wegovy?

Before taking Wegovy or any other weight loss drugs, it's important to understand the potential side effects.

The most common side effects of the Wegovy injection include [3]:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue

When first starting Wegovy, you may experience nausea, which can be managed by your doctor or self-managed, and include strategies like eating low-fat and bland foods like rice, toast and crackers and even avoiding lying down after eating.

There are more serious side effects associated with Wegovy injections, specifically the risk of thyroid C-cell tumours. With this in mind, anyone with a personal or family history of thyroid cancer should avoid taking Wegovy [4].

Additionally, if you have had a previous severe allergic reaction to semaglutide or any other ingredients contained in Wegovy you should avoid taking this weight loss injection [3].

Is Wegovy the same as Ozempic?

Wegovy and Ozempic contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide, but there are some differences between them, mainly that they are approved for different reasons and contain different doses.

Let's run through some of the key differences between Wegovy and Ozempic.

They are approved for different uses

Unlike Wegovy, Ozempic is approved to help adults manage type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events. Clinical trials of Ozempic showed a decrease in haemoglobin A1C, which is a measure of blood sugar control, by 1% in three months [5].

On the other hand, Wegovy is currently approved for chronic weight management. Clinical trials have shown effective results for people with and without diabetes, helping participants lose almost 15% of their body weight [6].

The doses are different

Another major difference between Wegovy and Ozempic is the dosages. Ozempic is available in 0.25mg, 0.5mg and 1.0mg doses, while Wegovy is available in 0.25mg, 0.5mg, 1.0mg, 1.7mg and 2.4mg doses.

Essentially, you can take Wegovy at a higher dose than Ozempic as directed by your healthcare provider, but both contain the same active ingredient, semaglutide.

Losing weight with Wegovy

We prescribe Wegovy as part of our Weight Reset Programme, which is also combined with lifestyle changes and health coaching through our platform can help you lose weight by giving you the tools you need to eat a healthy diet and improve your physical activity.

Juniper's programme uses medication to give your body a biological reset, with medication targeting areas of the brain that controls your appetite. This medication lowers your body's set point, which helps you achieve weight loss.

Plus, our clinical team will provide you with all the tools needed to achieve a healthy and sustainable lifestyle with health coaches and pharmacists, which will help you kick your weight loss goals long after you stop taking medication.

We also know that research consistently shows that people in group communities achieve greater weight loss than those who are doing it on their own [8]. That's why we connect you with a supportive community of women on the weight loss journey with you.

When it comes to weight loss, a holistic approach by using medications in combination with a lower calorie food intake and increasing your physical activity can help you lower your body weight and achieve long-term weight loss results.