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Posted on 19 Jul 2023
NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board (ICB) does not support the off-label use (including weight loss) of Ozempic or other GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) outside of product licenses.
At this time, it is imperative that all GLP-1 RAs (prescribed by brand) are ONLY prescribed for the treatment and management of type 2 diabetes. This is in the interest of patient safety for existing patients already on these medications.
The prescribing of GLP-1 RAs for Obesity in primary care (outside of product license or where formulary status is specialist only) is not supported within Kent and Medway ICB.
NHS Kent and Medway ICB welcomes the news that national considerations are being given on how to expand weight management offers to people in England. Earlier this year, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended the use of semaglutide (Wegovy) for adults.
Wegovy is not currently available for prescribing by either general practices or the tier 3 service.
Our understanding is that this is likely to be rolled out as an initial pilot project but at this time we do not know which areas will be pilot sites. We anticipate that demand for these medications is likely to be high and we are currently trying to engage with the national team to gain clarity on what the offer is likely to be.
Supplies of Wegovy have not been made available in the UK by the manufacturer. This has led to an increase in demand for off-label use of Ozempic and other GLP-1 RAs for weight loss. This has led to shortages of these drugs to treat people with type 2 diabetes – the licenced indication.
Ozempic and Rybelsus are only licensed for type 2 diabetes and as such must only be used for patients with type 2 diabetes. This is in line with the medicines supply notification (MSN) for GLP-1 RAs
We will work to keep you updated on timeframes and more detailed plans as they develop. Patients requesting weight loss support can be signposted to various NHS services for weight loss.