Wednesday, August 23, 2023
For many people, diet and exercise alone are not enough to see significant and sustained weight loss. In these cases, additional interventions, such as weight loss drugs or bariatric surgery, may be advised.
Also known as the “skinny pen” or weight loss pen, Saxenda is a drug that is injected daily to help reduce the appetite and make you feel fuller for longer.
The active ingredient, Liraglutide, aids weight loss by helping you to feel fuller for longer after meals, as well as suppressing the appetite so that you won’t feel as hungry. (1) Like most weight loss drugs, the Saxenda pen works best when it is used in conjunction with a calorie-controlled diet and regular physical activity; with lifestyle modifications, Saxenda can improve weight loss; 85% of patients will lose weight, with most patients losing 5% of their body weight within the first 12 months. (2)
At Oxford Online Pharmacy, one Saxenda pen, with pen needles and a sharps box, costs £59.99. The pens get progressively cheaper the more you buy, with the cheapest Saxenda pens working out at £50.80 when you buy a pack of ten weight-loss pens.(3)
(prices are accurate at the time of publishing)
The cost of Saxenda will vary depending on where you buy it, and where you are in your weight loss journey. Some people may be entitled to receive Saxenda on the NHS for free.
For an NHS prescription, patients will usually need to have been referred by their GP to a specialist weight management programme,(4) and will have to meet specific criteria such as weight and health markers for weight loss intervention, for example, you have already tried Orlistat tablets accompanied by a healthy diet and exercise routine but had no success losing weight. (5)
Accessing specialist weight loss advice via the NHS can be a lengthy process, so for patients who are ready to take control of their weight, who aren’t eligible for NHS treatment and do not want to wait for a GP referral, a private prescription may be appropriate.
If you have a BMI of 30 or more, or 27 if you are part of a higher risk group, have non-diabetic glycaemia, or are at high risk of heart problems, you can get a private prescription for Saxenda. (6)
If you are prescribed Saxenda, you will need to inject it every day; your prescriber will talk you through the process.
Saxenda has a dosing schedule that sees the dose gradually increase over a period of five weeks, starting with 0.6mg daily in the first week, gradually increasing by 0.6mg a day until you reach 3mg a day in the fifth week.
You will need four Saxenda pens to graduate up to the full daily dose of 3mg; if you buy them individually, this would cost around £240, or you could buy a pack of five pens, which will include the needles and sharps box, for £258.99.
Once you enter the maintenance phase, from weeks 6 – 12, you will take 3mg of Saxenda every day. At this point, you will need five pens per month.
Saxenda prices are fairly consistent for all private prescriptions, with the cost per pen varying slightly by a few pounds. However, the level of support and quality of service that you receive can vary from one pharmacy to another. Saxenda comes in pre-filled injection pens and needles and a sharps box is required for successful administration.
When you buy Saxenda from Oxford Online Pharmacy, you will receive thirty pen needles and a sharps box, which will allow you to dispose of your needles safely. However, many places that sell Saxenda sell the pens, needles, and sharps box separately; although this may seem better value at first glance, once all of the elements are added to your shopping basket, it will usually prove to be a false economy.
At Oxford Online Pharmacy we prefer to offer our patients transparency and a surprise-free, tailored service.
Saxenda needs to be injected under the skin of the thigh, upper arm, or belly, avoiding the belly button. It is important that the injection site is changed daily, so most people will get used to injecting at different points on their body. (7)
There are a range of weight loss drugs available on prescription but the other “skinny pen” currently available is the Wegovy pen, which is a weight loss pen like Saxenda, and is available in the UK in 2023.