LloydsPharmacy has launched a medicated weight loss service in which patients use Saxenda, an appetite suppressant that is to be injected once a day, in combination with regular coaching and advice.
The programme, which costs £260 per month, is available in 1,400 branches and is aimed at helping people with obesity lose weight and reduce their risk of developing weight-related health problems.
To access the programme, customers are asked to book an initial consultation with a healthcare advisor to verify their eligibility. They must have a BMI above 30, or a BMI of 27 or higher alongside a weight-related comorbidity.
If eligible, the customer will make an appointment for a full consultation with a pharmacist which involves a health check, including measuring their heart rate, and information on how to take Saxenda.
Eligible customers receiving the treatment will receive regular consultations with a pharmacist and personalised digital health coaching.
Customers have free access to a personal health coach through LIVA Healthcare for as long as they stay on the medication, up to 12 months. These health coach sessions focus on sustainable lifestyle and behavioural changes including healthy eating and exercise.
LloydsPharmacy says it is the first community pharmacy multiple to offer this service nationwide.
Mark Weston, B2B services manager at LloydsPharmacy parent company McKesson UK, said: “Statistics show that when weight medications are taken as part of a structured programme, up to 65 per cent of patients lose at least five per cent [bodyweight], with a significant proportion achieving 10 per cent weight loss. We believe this service can add real value to the lives of our patients by helping them to make positive and long-term lifestyle changes which will not only benefit them but the NHS too”.
Mr Weston said: “Obesity is becoming more and more prevalent in the UK and is contributing to increasing NHS cost and capacity challenges. With a renewed focus from the government to reduce levels of this chronic condition, we want our pharmacists to be able to utilise their skills more by being part of the solution. This new service is about safely supporting patients through a medicated weight loss journey to help benefit their overall health and reduce their risk of developing serious conditions associated with being overweight.
“Historically, weight loss medications have been available through online pharmacies and aesthetic clinics with little regulation or rigour. We believe providing the right guidance and care is just as important as the medication itself and have designed a holistic service with this in mind.
"We want patients to feel fully supported throughout the programme which is why they’ll receive weekly telephone calls during the first four weeks followed by monthly face to face consultations. Like with everything we do, the safety of our patients is our number one priority."