Wegovy: Pharmacies could make £280k a year from private service, analysis shows
Private weight management services could generate hundreds of thousands of pounds per year for struggling pharmacies, an expert has estimated.
Pharmacies could make more than £280,000 a year by offering private weight management services, according to Pharmadoctor chief executive Graham Thoms.
Mr Thoms conducted his analysis based on data from the Pharmadoctor weight management service eTool as well as the experience of those already offering it, he told C+D last week (September 7).
Pharmadoctor, a provider of pharmacy-based clinical service packages, announced the addition of weight loss injection Wegovy to its weight management service last week when the drug launched in the UK.
The data shows that “most patients” are on treatment for six months and each patient “should generate approximately £1,350 for pharmacies offering the service”, Mr Thoms said.
He added that one independent pharmacy owner had already booked four patients onto the service in his first two days of offering it and that from these patients alone he “can expect to generate £5,400 using his weight management service”.
“Assuming he can replicate this [as a weekly earning] over 12 months, he has the potential to generate over £280,000 per year from this service alone”, Mr Thoms said.
A funding “lifeline”
Mr Thoms called the new service a financial “lifeline” for pharmacies struggling “during these difficult times”.
“With pharmacies suffering from the well-documented funding crisis and many shutting their doors, you can see how this new service is throwing many pharmacies a lifeline,” he said.
It comes as the pharmacy negotiator last week admitted that “progress” towards the £645 million cash injection promised by the government has been “slower than hoped”.
The semaglutide injection known as Wegovy was released in the UK last week in what its manufacturer Novo Nordisk called a “controlled and limited launch”.
The drug can now be accessed by eligible patients in specialist NHS weight management services and privately though “a registered healthcare professional”, the manufacturer said.
Patient group direction (PGD) provider Pharmadoctor last week said that its weight management service – originally launched in 2022 - is already used by more than 600 community pharmacists in the UK.
Pharmadoctor’s weight loss service is available for authorised pharmacies for £499 excluding VAT, according to its website.
Meanwhile, Boots, Superdrug and Well have all told C+D that they will also offer the drug to patients via their private weight loss services.