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Scottish Medicines Consortium accepts tirzepatide (Mounjaro) for obesity in eligible adults

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has accepted Eli Lilly and Company’s tirzepatide (Mounjaro) for restricted use within NHS Scotland for weight management, making Scotland the first nation in the UK to enable access to the treatment for weight management through the NHS.

The SMC has published the Detailed Advice Document (DAD) accepting tirzepatide for weight management, including weight loss and weight maintenance, as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity in adults with Body Mass Index (BMI) of ≥30 kg/m2* and at least one weight-related comorbidity (*a lower BMI cut-off may be more appropriate for members of minority ethnic groups known to be at equivalent risk of the consequences of obesity at a lower BMI than the white population). The DAD does not restrict use to specialist weight management services, meaning that eligible adults should be able to access treatment through primary care.

“This is an important moment for people living with obesity, because until recently treatment options for obesity have been limited, so having access to treatments that can help people lose weight and maintain the weight loss is a huge step forward. Access to support and to effective treatments is vital to help improve quality of life, and has the potential to help an estimated 1 million people in Scotland,” said Sarah Le Brocq, Director & Founder, All About Obesity.

Tirzepatide is a once-weekly GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) receptor and GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) receptor agonist, and has previously been accepted by SMC for restricted use within NHS Scotland for the treatment of adults with insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus, as an adjunct to diet and exercise in addition to other oral anti-diabetic medicines as an option when glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists would be considered.

Rachel Batterham

“Obesity is a public health epidemic and is a causal factor of many major chronic health conditions as well as premature death. There are significant inequalities in access to obesity care. This announcement is a great step forward in improving the lives of people with obesity in Scotland, by providing access to treatment in primary care,” added Professor Rachel Batterham, Senior Vice President for International Medical Affairs at Lilly. “At Lilly, we are passionate about ensuring our innovative treatments can reach as many eligible patients as possible, and we’re continuing to work closely with relevant bodies across the UK with the aim of enabling patients the same opportunity to access the treatment and support they deserve.”

The most common side effects of tirzepatide are nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and constipation. Women with obesity or overweight using oral contraceptives should consider also using a barrier method of contraception (e.g., a condom) or switching to a non-oral contraceptive method for four weeks after starting tirzepatide and for four weeks after each increase in dose.


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