C+D Community Pharmacy logo

Private weight management services in the UK could generate annual revenue for struggling pharmacies, an expert says. Pharmacies could make over £280,000 a year by offering private weight management services, according to Pharmadoctor’s Graham Thoms. Pharmadoctor, a provider of pharmacy-based clinical service packages, has added the weight loss injection Wegovy to its weight management service.

By Kate Bowie

Pharmacies could make more than £280,000 a year by offering private weight management services, according to Pharmadoctor chief executive Graham Thoms.

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 (Sept. 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.

Read more: Pharmacies pioneer private Wegovy service as drug sees UK launch

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,” 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,” Thoms said.

A funding “lifeline”

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”.

Read more: Boots, Superdrug and Well line up to offer private Wegovy weight loss jabs

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.

Read more: NICE conditionally recommends four apps to support weight management

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.

Related resources

FEB 22, 2023
Press Release

Annual Survey of Community Pharmacists in the UK Reveals Over 80% Considered Leaving Job in 2022

Survey conducted by Chemist+Druggist (C+D) reveals a sector in crisis.

AUG 29, 2023

Wholesalers’ View: What Caused the Atorvastatin Crisis?

An “IT issue” at a major manufacturer was partly to blame for recent price hikes and shortages of atorvastatin, says an industry insider.