Pharma & drug development

Saxenda: profiling the first NHS weight loss drug for a decade

Novo Nordisk’s Saxenda has been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for use on the NHS in England for adults, making it the first pharmacotherapy to be endorsed by NICE for weight management in almost a decade. Abi Millar looks at how it works, and asks whether we’ll see more obesity treatments following the government’s new targets to fight obesity.

On 30th October, a new weight loss drug, Saxenda, became available on the NHS in England. Indicated for adult patients with obesity and additional risk factors, this is the first medication to be endorsed for weight management in nearly a decade. 

Also known as liraglutide 3mg, the drug is manufactured by Novo Nordisk and received its European marketing authorisation in 2015, before being launched in the UK two years later. Since then, it has been available privately – in June 2020, the high street pharmacy LloydsPharmacy started offering the drug as part of a weight loss programme. However, the NICE recommendation greatly increases the number of patients who will benefit.

Pinder Sahota, corporate vice president and general manager at Novo Nordisk UK, said: “We are delighted that NICE has recommended Saxenda for the treatment of obesity on the NHS. This is testament to the value that this treatment offers, particularly during these challenging times, when policymakers and clinicians are highly focused on finding effective ways to address the prevalence of obesity across the UK.”

Read the rest of this article at Pharmaceutical Technology

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