Wegovy is now in the UK and available on the NHS. Patients interested in the treatment will need a referral from their GP to an NHS specialist weight management service who would then make an assessment based on the guidelines and eligibility criteria.
In this article we will look at what that criteria is and how you can access Wegovy through the NHS.
What is Wegovy and how does it differ from Ozempic?
Wegovy is the brand name for semaglutide, a weight loss medicine that can help reduce appetite and make you feel more full. When combined with diet and exercise it is a very effective and sustainable way to reach your health goals.
Both Wegovy and Ozempic (another brand name for semaglutide) come as a pre-prepared injection pen which you take on a weekly basis and both contain semaglutide with a starting dose of 0.25mg that patients stay on for four weeks before moving up.
The difference with Wegovy is that it is offered at higher doses, with the highest being 2.4mg. Higher doses of semaglutide tend to result in higher levels of weight loss.
The other main difference is that Ozempic was originally only prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes whereas Wegovy is licensed for weight loss. Ozempic is prescribed “off-label”, meaning it is prescribed for a purpose (weight loss) other than that which it was originally licensed for (type 2 diabetes).
You can read more about the differences here.
Who is eligible for Wegovy on the NHS?
Wegovy is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for managing overweight and obesity in some patients on the NHS.
NICE recommend that Wegovy should be prescribed to patients with a BMI of 35 and at least one weight-related health condition such as hypertension or cardiovascular disease. In some cases it may be offered to people with a BMI of 30 if they meet certain criteria. 
Your GP would usually carry out an assessment and put forward a referral to an NHS specialist weight management service who would then make the final decision.
It’s important to note that Wegovy should be used alongside a healthy diet and exercise and will only be prescribed for a maximum of 2 years.
Can I get Wegovy through the pilot the Prime Minister announced?
In June 2023 the government announced plans for a two-year pilot programme to help make weight loss medicines available to more people by providing services outside of a hospital environment.
Currently, the pilot schemes are still in development and there are no further updates on these but we will update the page when we learn more.
Join our Wegovy waitlist
What other weight loss options are available through the NHS?
The NHS has a range of resources available for weight loss and management. There is a free NHS weight loss plan app to help you start healthier eating habits, be more active, and lose weight.
There are also local weight loss groups that could be provided by the NHS or your local authority and even exercise on prescription where you are referred to an active health team for sessions with a qualified trainer.
Can I get Wegovy privately?
Yes, Wegovy can be obtained with a private prescription. You will still need to meet the eligibility criteria set by NICE and have an assessment but you don’t need to go through your GP or the NHS.
There are various options available for obtaining Wegovy privately. It’s possible to buy through an online pharmacy where you purchase only the prescription or through a health care provider that includes dedicated ongoing support, digital technologies to help you track your progress and content and guidance for you to stay motivated.
Wegovy’s availability will be based on the current supply, which is expected to start out as limited.
Join our waitlist, and you'll be among the first to hear when Wegovy becomes available.
What support will I get if I am receiving treatment digitally?
With Habitual you get a dedicated Patient Care team who are on hand to help you through any questions, a peer support group on whatsapp to connect with others on a similar journey and our custom built app to help track your progress and stay motivated.
Your assessment and approval will be carried out by a registered pharmacy and will meet the same strict guidelines that NHS patients would have to follow.
Why should I choose Habitual?
A Wegovy plan through Habitual includes all the tools and support you need to reach your health goals:
- Prescription Wegovy pen, delivered every 4 weeks to your door
- Access to our custom-built habit change and tracking mobile app
- An optional peer support group on WhatsApp
- Daily behaviour change content and exercises to help you make lasting changes
When will it be available?
As Novo Nordisk has just made the announcement, it should be a matter of weeks. So we recommend signing up to the waitlist to be the first to know when it’s in stock.