The information on this section of the website about treatment with Saxenda® (liraglutide injection 3mg) for weight loss in addition to diet and exercise is intended for UK healthcare professionals. If you are a member of the public or a patient, please visit the relevant section:

Is Saxenda® (liraglutide injection 3mg) available on the NHS?

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Can patients access Saxenda® on the NHS?

Saxenda® has been recommended by NICE as a cost-effective treatment used to manage overweight and obesity in adults.1 Saxenda® is available on the NHS as a treatment option to help aid weight loss when lifestyle and behavioural approaches have not been effective on their own – and when the potential benefits of treatment outweigh the risks.1 Saxenda® will be offered through secondary care specialist multidisciplinary tier 3 weight management services.1

 

Close-up of female doctor smiling and wearing white lab coat and stethoscope

Which patients qualify for the use of Saxenda® on the NHS?

Saxenda® is a cost-effective treatment for use in the NHS for adults with a BMI of at least 35 kg/m², non-diabetic hyperglycaemia, and a high risk of cardiovascular disease alongside a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. Adjust BMI threshold for people from minority ethnic groups.1

  • The patient has a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35 kg/m² (Adjustments should be made, using lower thresholds, for members of minority ethnic groups known to be at equivalent risk from the consequences of obesity at a lower BMI than the white population), and
  • The patient has non-diabetic hyperglycaemia (Defined as a haemoglobin A1c level of 42 to 47 mmol/mol [6.0 to 6.4 %] or a fasting plasma glucose level of 5.5 to 6.9 mmol/L), and
  • The patient has a high risk of cardiovascular disease based on risk factors such as hypertension and dyslipidaemia. High CV risk is based on risk factors, SBP >140 mmHg, or total cholestorol >5 mmol/L or an HDL for men <1.0 and <1.3 mmol/L for women.1
  • Prescribed in secondary care by specialist multidisciplinary tier 3 weight management service.1

Approved Saxenda® indication as per the Summary of Product Characteristics.

Saxenda® is indicated as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for weight management in adult patients with an initial Body Mass Index (BMI) of:

  • ≥30 kg/m² (obese); or
  • ≥27 kg/m² to <30 kg/m² (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbidity such as dysglycaemia (pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes mellitus), hypertension, dyslipidaemia or obstructive sleep apnoea.2

Treatment with Saxenda® should be discontinued after 12 weeks on the 3.0 mg/day dose if patients have not lost at least 5% of their initial body weight.2

What are the pharmacological options for the treatment of obesity?

There is an increased clinical need for alternative pharmacological options.

Current alternative treatment options to Saxenda® are limited – and of those which are available, some are not suitable for many people.

Most people referred to a Tier 3 service will have tried Orlistat– and many will have stopped taking it because of undesirable side effects.1 And, only around 0.1% of people who are eligible for bariatric surgery currently have it.1

If Orlistat or bariatric surgery are not options for the patient, or they do not want to have these treatments, then Saxenda® could be considered as an alternative to lifestyle modifications alone, without supporting medicines.

Which NHS services can offer Saxenda® to patients?

Saxenda® can be offered to the high-risk populations described above through specialist multidisciplinary weight management (Tier 3) services.

These services provide dietary, lifestyle and behaviour modification – with or without drug therapy – and the ongoing psychological support needed to help achieve long-term weight loss. Access to these services varies across England.

Current obesity pathway and service provision in the UK

Acquisition costs

Saxenda® is available at the basic NHS price of £196.20 for 5 x 6 mg per ml 3 ml (18 mg) pre-filled pens (excluding VAT; BNF online, accessed September 2020). The company has a commercial arrangement. This makes the Saxenda® brand of liraglutide available to the NHS with a discount only if it is purchased through a secondary-care tier 3 weight management service. The size of the discount is commercial in confidence. It is the company’s responsibility to let relevant NHS organisations know details of the discount.1

To order Saxenda® (liraglutide injection 3mg), simply use the following PIP codes:

Pen Pack Size Description Industry Pip Code
3 Saxenda® 3 x 3 ml 415-4209
5 Saxenda® 5 x 3 ml 420-8676

 

Can patients who don’t qualify for Saxenda® on the NHS still receive access?

Yes, Saxenda® is also available for patients that do not meet the criteria for NHS use. Saxenda® can be purchased via private prescription in the UK, as per the approved SMPC.

What is the approved indication for Saxenda®

The full licensed indication for Saxenda® is alongside a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for weight management in adult patients with an initial body mass index (BMI) of:

  • ≥30 kg/m² (obese)
  • ≥27 kg/m² to <30 kg/m² (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbidity such as dysglycaemia (pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes mellitus), hypertension, dyslipidaemia or obstructive sleep apnoea.2

Which private services can provide patients access to Saxenda®

Some examples of private services that Saxenda® can be obtained from include:

  • Regulated online pharmacies
  • Regulated clinics
  • Local pharmacies

NHS advice states that buying from unregistered pharmacies can be unsafe. Products sold by vendors such as these are potentially dangerous if they are out-of-date, diluted or fake.3 In addition, medication from unregistered pharmacies is often sold cheaply online without a prescription or advice of a pharmacist.3

However, it is understandably difficult to tell the difference between registered online pharmacies and other commercial websites.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPHC) operates an internet pharmacy logo scheme which helps identify legitimate online pharmacies.3 To confirm the logo is genuine and that the website has been authorized to trade legitimately, the registration number included on the logo can be checked on the GPHC website.

Example of a registered internet logo with pharmacy number

All websites which are selling medicines online in the UK must be authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). To check if a website is legally allowed to sell medicines to the public, you can look at the agency’s register.

Example of the Distance Selling Logo online pharmacies must display

Every web page which is offering to sell human medicines to the public must always display The Distance Selling Logo (shown).

Any clinic offering Saxenda® treatment from a medical professional should also be registered with the UK’s Care Quality Commission (CQC). Look out for the CQC logo. If online, a pharmacy registration number should be included on the website.

Care Quality Commission logo

Contact Novo Nordisk

If you would like to request a visit from a representative please contact us on [email protected]

For all product related enquiries please contact us via our online information request form at www.novonordisk.co.uk

References

  1. NICE. Liraglutide for managing overweight and obesity. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-ta10388 [Last accessed November 2020]
  2. Saxenda® Summary of Product Characteristics
  3. NHS. Dangers of buying medicines online. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/pharmacies/dangers-of-buying-medicines-online [Last accessed November 2020]
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This website contains information about Saxenda®(liraglutide injection 3mg) suitable for HCPs and patients.

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