Is Mounjaro available on the NHS?

The latest weight loss drug Mounjaro has just hit the UK shelves. But is it available for a prescription via the NHS?
Habitual Team
min read
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Quick summary

Mounjaro is one of the latest weight loss drugs to be approved for use in the UK. In February, the recently-approved drug first hit the shelves and started reaching the hands of customers. 

Mounjaro, like other similar weight loss drugs, is not available ‘over the counter’, which means that in order to get hold of it, you need a prescription. A private prescription will be the first port of call for many. But for patients in the UK, there may be an alternative—to get an NHS prescription. So is Mounjaro available yet on the NHS?

Here we recap on what Mounjaro is, who it's for, and crucially, whether you’ll be able to get an NHS prescription for it.

What is Mounjaro?

Mounjaro is taken as a weekly, self-administered injection via an injection pen, at increasing dose titrations over the course of the medication. 

Mounjaro is a name for the drug tirzepatide. Tirzepatide is a dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and GLP-1, a combination of two hormones that increase the production of insulin, thus helping manage your sugar levels. 

GLP-1s mimic the release of incretin, a hormone that is typically released after you have eaten. Thus, by taking the drug, you are simulating the feeling of fullness for longer [1]. In addition, GIP helps reduce fat accumulation and increase bone formation and glucagon production, which help you lose weight. [2]

The combined effects of all this has proved to be an effective method for losing weight. Tirzepatide is considered to be even more effective for weight loss than semaglutide (the drug that Ozempic and Wegovy contain)—with tirzepatide resulting in a weight loss of 17.8% compared with 12.4% for semaglutide [3].  

The benefits of taking Manjaro doesn't happen overnight. Like any weight loss journey, with medication or without, it’s a longer term journey of sustained effort that will help you to reach a healthy target weight. But with a disciplined approach you can expect to lose around 2% of your body weight after 4 weeks, and around 6% of your body weight after 8 weeks.

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Is Mounjaro available on the NHS?

Those considering getting a prescription for Mounjaro in the UK will likely want to know whether they have to pay for a private prescription, or get a much more affordable NHS prescription.

In short—Mounjaro is available on the NHS, meaning that those eligible can buy Mounjaro at the base cost of an NHS prescription, currently £9.65 per item. 

This is the result of several months of progress, seeing Mounjaro receive approval from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in October 2023 as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, and approval of a Mounjaro Kwikpen in January 2024, a four-shot injection designed to alleviate supply chain issues. 

There are a few important things to note. Eligibility for an NHS prescription for Mounjaro remains stringent. It is currently only available for patients with type 2 diabetes, and is still awaiting approval as a treatment for obesity. This means that unless you have type 2 diabetes, you’ll have to get a private prescription. 

It is also worth noting that demand for weight loss drugs like Mounjaro remains very high, meaning that prescriptions in the meantime will be highly selective with longer waiting times in order not to overwhelm demand.

Alternatives for buying Mounjaro

Given the eligibility requirements and potentially lengthy waiting times associated with getting an NHS prescription for Mounjaro, those interested would do well to consider the alternatives. 

The most obvious alternative is to pay for a private prescription for Mounjaro. This may mean getting a prescription from a private doctor. Costs can add up here, as you’re not only paying for the prescription but also the appointment. 

There are also many online pharmacies and digital health companies that can provide accelerated access to a private prescription to enable you to buy Mounjaro much more quickly. Through Habitual, for instance, a free, four-minute assessment gives you access to a Mounjaro prescription that costs £199 a month. This comes with a custom-built habit change and tracking app, regular virtual checkups, and access to a peer support Whatsapp group. 

If you struggle to get hold of Mounjaro—which given the demand, may be quite likely—it may also be worth considering alternatives weight loss drugs that may have the same desired effects. Ozempic and Wegovy are just some of the drugs already available for prescription in the UK. Wegovy is also available on Habitual as part of our weight loss medication plans. 

It is worth noting that you can switch between medications: for instance, from Wegovy to Mounjaro. There are numerous reasons for doing this, such as to break through the weight loss plateau and accelerate weight loss. But it also means that if you choose to start taking Wegovy in the meantime, it doesn’t prevent your chances of switching to Mounjaro. 

Cost should of course factor into your decision—and given the affordability of an NHS prescription, that may be the preferable choice. But until Mounjaro is available for obesity on the NHS, and until supply can drastically reduce waiting times, it’s important to consider all your options.


[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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