Private healthcare firms and pharmaceutical bosses will be the real winners when rolling out weight loss drug Wegovy. It became available on the NHS on Monday, but thousands of patients could wait years to get the injectable medication.
The drug company has said that a “proportion of available supply” has been allocated to the NHS, most will be reserved for other even more lucrative markets. A month ago pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk, the maker of Wegovy, reported profits up 43 percent to £4.5 billion for the six months from January to June.
Restricted supply means people desperate to lose weight pay out to obtain it. And those who can’t pay will be left waiting. On the Boots pharmacy stores’ website, the highest dose of Wegovy will set you back £299 per pack to be taken weekly.
But in any case, a drug like this is no miracle cure. It has side effects that can threaten health. The National Institute for Care and Excellence (Nice) recommend that Wegovy is used only for two years. But many users have reported that they put the weight back on once they came off the drug.
This is an ideal situation for bosses who want to keep patients buying for a lifetime. Millions of people worldwide want to lose weight. Others need such drugs to help them with treatment for diabetes.
Research, supply and policy can’t be left to the whims of big pharma.
Union leaders have been silent