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'I'm terrified someone is going to die' - Wes Streeting demands tighter regs around Wegovy after C+D story

The shadow health secretary has said that a Labour government will look “very carefully” at changing weight loss drug regulation after C+D revealed that a “young girl” who bought Wegovy from Boots ended up in A&E. 

Wes Streeting has revealed plans for “much closer clinical oversight and regulation” around accessing weight loss drugs from online pharmacies, after C+D exclusively revealed that increasing numbers of people were turning up at A&E needing treatment after taking weight loss drugs.

Last week, C+D revealed that a “young girl” was rushed to A&E for urgent treatment after presenting with life threatening symptoms after taking weight loss drug Wegovy that she had obtained through Boots Online Doctor.

The concerned A&E doctor C+D spoke to added that on “every” recent shift, a patient has presented with complications after using weight loss drugs.

The story was widely picked up in the national media and prompted calls from A&E doctors for the market to undergo a regulatory safety review. 

“Whatever you do, do not think that to be Instagram body beautiful taking this sort of medication is safe or sensible,” the shadow health secretary told The Sun.

"I'm really worried that drugs that could make a positive difference to our health are at risk of being misused,” he said, adding that he is “genuinely terrified that someone is going to die”.

“I think we are going to need much closer clinical oversight and regulation,” he told the newspaper.

"I'm going to be looking at that very carefully if we win the general election,” he added.


“Dangerous consequences”


NHS England’s (NHSE) national medical director Professor Stephen Powis also told C+D yesterday (June 17) that he was “worried about reports that people are misusing” weight loss drugs.

“Buying medication online without a doctor’s supervision can lead to complications and dangerous consequences,” he added.

“Drugs including Ozempic and Wegovy should only be used by people prescribed them for obesity or diabetes,” he said.

“They are not intended as a quick fix for people trying to get ‘beach body ready’,” he added.


“Young girl” in A&E


The Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) also last week called for “urgent regulation and control of access for weight loss drugs online to avoid more patients becoming unwell”.

It came after an anonymous doctor told C+D that a “young girl” who was “not at all” overweight had obtained Wegovy after she’d “gone online, filled in the form and then got a months’ worth” for around “£150”.

They added that on “every” recent shift, a patient who should not be on weight loss drugs has presented with complications after illicitly obtaining Wegovy.

A Boots spokesperson stressed that patient safety is the multiple’s “number one priority” and that it has “a number of safeguards in place”.

“Patients are required to complete an online consultation, which is reviewed by a Boots Online Doctor clinician to determine if treatment is appropriate”, including “answering questions on their medical and psychological history and supplying a photograph”, the spokesperson told C+D.

Meanwhile, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) said that it takes “patient safety extremely seriously and will be looking into the issues raised by this clinician relating to the supply of weight-loss medicines by online pharmacies”.

GPhC chief strategy officer Mark Voce added that the regulator’s guidance “for registered pharmacies providing services at a distance including on the internet states clearly that selling and supplying medicines at a distance brings different risks that need to be appropriately managed to protect patient safety”.

“Medicines are not ordinary items of commerce and must not be treated as such,” he said.


If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s health, you can contact Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677 or

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