Update: Zebound (Mounjaro) is launching in the UK on February 26th 2024
The market for weight loss injections has boomed in the last 12 months, already valued at around $100 billion. Widespread demand means new drugs continue to pop up.
The latest medication to hit the market is Zepbound, the name for the drug tirzepatide.
Tirzepatide became the latest weight loss drug to receive regulatory approval both by US and British regulators, paving the way for the drug Zepbound to be made available to individuals in the UK looking to lose weight.
So when can we expect to that Zepbound will be available in the UK?
What is tirzepatide?
Zepbound is a type of drug called tirzepatide, which is a dual GLP-1 and GIP medication. If you’ve heard of Mounjaro, you’ve heard of Zepbound—they are practically the same drug, although designated for different reasons. It may be too early to tell, but tirzepatide is considered to be the most effective of this class of medications.
The two components of tirzepatide—GLP-1 and GIP—both induce different effects that can help with the management of blood sugar levels and ultimately are hugely impactful when it comes to losing weight.
GLP-1s and GIP mimic the effects of two gut hormones which are ordinarily released naturally after you have eaten. By mimicking these, they help release insulin to manage blood sugar levels, but also creates a feeling of fullness for longer.
Wegovy is here! - Start your free assessment
When will Zepbound be available in the UK?
When trying to identify the timeline for Zepbound’s UK availability, it's worth understanding the many steps in the process towards a drug getting approval for roll out.
In early November 2023, the MHRA (the UK regulator for drug approval) authorised the use of tirzepatide for weight management and weight loss, to be administered alongside a reduced calorie diet and increased exercise regime. While previously known under the name Mounjaro, a medication for type 2 diabetes, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced Zepbound will be the name for the weight loss equivalent.
It was recently announced that we can expect Zepbound to be available in the UK from February 26th 2024. It also seems like it might continue to be sold under the name Mounjaro rather than Zepbound.
Whether Zepbound will be made available on the NHS remains to be seen. Mounjaro will be prescribed on the NHS for type 2 diabetes, and so we can reasonably expect that Zepbound may be too—although it depends on a variety of factors.
In the meantime, what are your options? Semaglutide, under the names Wegovy and Ozempic, is already available in the UK both through private pharmacies and on an NHS prescription (although the latter demands lengthy waiting times). Digital health providers like Habitual offer private prescriptions to Wegovy, along with a comprehensive support package that includes 1-2-1 support and a community Whatsapp group. Find out more here.