New £40m funding for pilot projects to increase access to and uptake of pharmaceutical interventions for obesity: Food Active response

by Beth Bradshaw | 7 June, 2023 3:00 pm

The Department of Health and Social Care have today announced a £40 million two-year pilot to reduce the prevalence of obesity and cut NHS waiting lists, which will explore how Wegovy can be prescribed outside of specialist weight management services, which are largely hospital based. 

Earlier this year, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended the use of Semaglutide (Wegovy) for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 35 and one weight-related health condition – such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

There is evidence from clinical trials that, when prescribed alongside diet, physical activity and behavioural support, people taking a weight-loss drug can lose up to 15% of their body weight after one year. Taking them alongside diet, physical activity and behavioural support can help people lose weight within the first month of treatment.

Our Programme Lead, Nicola Calder, responds:

This new funding announced is a positive step towards helping more people access specialist weight management services, and drugs such as Wegovy may be a helpful tool to support adults to improve their health.

However, this should not be seen as the only solution. It is important that we continue to focus our efforts on prevention and not just the treatment and management of obesity. We urge the government to deliver on the national obesity strategy, including important regulations to limit the advertising of less healthy food and drink. 

To read the full press release, follow this link[1].

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