How much does Mounjaro cost in the UK?

The weight loss drug Mounjaro is set to launch in February 2024 the UK. So how much will it cost you for a prescription?
Habitual Team
2/12/2024
5
min read
Checked by
2/12/2024
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Quick summary

With weight loss drug Mounjaro expected to be available in the UK in the coming weeks, many people may be starting to weigh up whether they want to get a prescription to help them on their weight loss journey. 

One key factor to consider is price. Here, we look into how much we might expect Mounjaro to cost once it does become available in the UK, comparing costs of an NHS prescription versus a private one. 

What is Mounjaro?

First of all, a quick recap on the drug Mounjaro. Mounjaro is one of several increasingly in-demand weight loss medications, along with the likes of Ozempic and Wegovy, that have transformed the pharmaceutical market in recent years.

Mounjaro is the brand name for tirzepatide, which is dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and GLP-1. The drug was originally designated for patients with type 2 diabetes, but has more recently been approved for weight loss in adults living with obesity.

So how does this work? GLP-1s and GIP both increase the production of insulin, helping manage your blood sugar levels. GLP-1s mimic a hormone called incretin, which is typically released after you have eaten, thereby creating the feeling of being full. [1] On top of this, GIP helps reduce fat accumulation and increase bone formation and glucagon production, which help you lose weight. [2]

Even compared to the likes of Ozempic and Wegovy, which are both names for semaglutide, Mounjaro is particularly effective. Initial trials in patients with type 2 diabetes suggest that Mounjaro/tirzepatide may be more effective for weight loss than semaglutide, with tirzepatide resulting in a weight loss of 17.8% compared with 12.4% for semaglutide [3]. Subsequent trials in patients living with obesity showed that tirzepatide resulted in an average weight loss of 21%.

How much does Mounjaro cost in the UK?

The cost of Mounjaro will depend largely on how and from where you are able to gain a prescription.

For those who are able to get a prescription on the NHS, when it comes available, you will have to pay the NHS prescription cost of £9.65 (at time of writing) per pen.

For those who aren’t able to get an NHS prescription for Mounjaro (more on this below), you will have to pay for a private prescription. Since Mounjaro isn’t yet available in the UK, any costs at this point are an estimation. That said, private prescriptions will likely vary in price, anywhere from £220 to £300 a month. If you buy these from a digital health platform, these will usually include some sort of support and monitoring programme to help you on your weight loss journey.  

Habitual plans to offer a monthly prescription to Mounjaro at £229 for four weeks. As well as your supply of injection pens, this will give you access to Habitual’s habit change and tracking app, 1:1 advice from experts, as well as access to Habitual’s Whatsapp community group for peer-to-peer support.

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How can you access Mounjaro in the UK?

It’s worth noting that Mounjaro is not, at time of writing, available in the UK. It received approval in October by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, but hasn’t been available yet in the UK because of global demand. It is also awaiting approval as an obesity medication. 

The latest update is that the Medicines and Healthcare product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved in late January a novel delivery method, the Mounjaro KwikPen, which instead of the single dose injection pen, would offer four injections in one pen. This would go a long way to help alleviate supply chain pressure which has up till now slowed down Mounjaro’s rollout. 

This means that we are likely to see Mounjaro coming available over the next few weeks (February 2024). But even when it does become available on the NHS, you should closely consider if you qualify for an NHS prescription. NHS prescriptions are inevitably in shorter supply, and have much more stringent criteria when it comes to who is able to gain a prescription, particularly as it has currently only been approved for patients with type 2 diabetes. 

For the rest of you, private prescriptions are the most realistic way forward. Through Habitual, you will be able to get a prescription for Mounjaro after completing a short online eligibility questionnaire that takes around four minutes to complete. 

Considering the alternatives to Mounjaro

Mounjaro is not yet available in the UK, and even when it does hit the shelves, it will likely come at a high cost for those acquiring a private prescription. For this reason, its worth considering all your options. 

Mounjaro is not the only drug on the market. Ozempic and Wegovy, both types of semaglutide, are more widely available in the UK—both are available via NHS prescriptions, while Habitual offers Wegovy as one of our medication plans. 

The alternative to medication is of course to embark on your weight loss journey through changing your lifestyle habits. Now, eating more healthily and doing more exercise can have different effects for different people, and comes much more easily to some rather than others. Even if you do choose to take medication like Mounjaro, its equally important to accompany your medication with a healthy diet and regular exercise to achieve long term, sustained weight loss. Failing to do so may seriously impact your ability to lose weight.

Given its not-insignificant cost, the price of Mounjaro is naturally an important factor when deciding whether to get a prescription for the weight loss drug. That said, considering the potential benefits of the drug from all angles will help you make an informed decision on whether it is right or wrong for you.

References

[1] Diabetes drug results in substantial weight loss in people with obesity, study finds, BMJ, published 7th June 2022. Accessible here 

[2] Seino, Y., Fukushima, M., Yabe, D. (2010). GIP and GLP‐1, the two incretin hormones: Similarities and differences, J Diabetes Investig. 2010 Apr 22; 1(1-2): 8–23. Accessible here

[3] Azuri, J., Hammerman, A., Aboalhasan, E. et al (2022). Tirzepatide versus semaglutide for weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A value for money analysis, Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, Volume25, Issue4, April 2023, pp.961-964. Accessible here

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