Key points

  • Saxenda is available for free on the NHS through certain specialist weight management services.
  • Saxenda is usually only available on the NHS when other weight loss options have failed.
  • Saxenda can also be requested via online doctor services such as Simple Online Pharmacy.

Who can take Saxenda?

Saxenda is an effective injectable weight loss medication, however, it should not be used by everyone. Saxenda should only be used by people with a BMI of 30 or more, or by people with a BMI between 27 and 30 who also have other weight-related health conditions, such as high blood pressure or sleep apnoea. 

How to get Saxenda for free in the UK

Currently, in the UK, the only way to get Saxenda for free is on the NHS. Pressure on NHS resources means that only certain services can prescribe Saxenda for weight loss and there is often a long waiting list to access the service. Below, we will outline the current process involved to get Saxenda for free on the NHS. If you would like to access Saxenda more quickly, it may be possible to get it prescribed privately for a fee. Online doctor services such as Simple Online Pharmacy are able to prescribe Saxenda for suitable patients. 

Take an assessment to buy Saxenda online from £51

How to get Saxenda on NHS prescription

Saxenda is currently only available on the NHS through specialist tier 3 weight management services. Tier 3 services help you to manage your weight through medical interventions, such as weight loss medications like Saxenda. Your GP, or a relevant healthcare provider, can refer you to a tier 3 service if you have a BMI over 50, or if your BMI is between 35-49 and you have other health problems. If your BMI is outside of this range, you can still be prescribed Saxenda, but not on the NHS. You would need to access a private prescription instead. 

The waiting list for these services can vary depending on where you live but is typically 12-18 months. Whilst you are on the waiting list, you may receive support through tier 2 weight management services instead. Tier 2 services are also community-based and offer dietary, lifestyle and behavioural advice. 

Once you have been accepted into the tier 3 service, you will have access to a range of healthcare professionals such as psychologists, psychotherapists, nutritionists, doctors and weight management advisors. The team will help you to identify the best management plan to help you lose weight. This may or may not include Saxenda. Typically, Saxenda is only offered to people who have tried various other weight loss options first. 

Is Saxenda available on NHS Scotland?

Saxenda was approved for use in the Scottish NHS in May 2022. As with other NHS services, a number of criteria need to be met for it to be prescribed. 

Firstly, you must have a BMI of 35 or more and you must be registered under an NHS specialist weight management service. 

You also must be considered to have prediabetes with a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, you must also be considered to be at high risk of cardiovascular disease. You may be classed as high risk if you have high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure. 

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How much is Saxenda on NHS prescription?

Saxenda will cost the same as your standard NHS prescription charge. If you live in Scotland or Wales, prescriptions are free, so you will not be charged for a NHS Saxenda prescription. If you live in England, you will have to pay for your prescription unless you have an exemption. A number of factors can entitle you to an exemption including your age, income, or certain medical conditions. To find out what you could be entitled to, use the NHS Eligibility Checker website

Where is the cheapest place to buy Saxenda?

There are a number of different places where you can buy Saxenda, including private doctors and online pharmacies. Online pharmacies are typically cheaper than private doctors, as they do not have the same running costs. When you select an online pharmacy, it is important that you select a reputable company, such as Simple Online Pharmacy. 

Saxenda is available from a number of different online pharmacies and prices can change regularly. Simple Online Pharmacy aims to offer competitive pricing on all our products, please visit our Saxenda page for the most up-to-date information.