The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has accepted 12 new medicines into NHS Scotland, opening up new treatment options for patients with obesity, cancer and epilepsy, among other things.

The agency approved Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy (semaglutide) for weight management in adults as a treatment option alongside diet and exercise. This therapy will join Saxenda (liraglutide), becoming the second approved weight loss drug in Scotland. This year, Wegovy has made major waves across the obesity space with approvals in the UK, Europe and the US for different patient groups.

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According to the UK innovation charity, Nesta, the annual cost of obesity in Scotland in 2022 was £5.3bn ($6.5 bn). The non-profit reported that, in Scotland, 67% of adults lived with excess weight and obesity was Scotland’s leading cause of death in 2022. In the 9 October press release, Dr Scott Muir, the SMC chair, said that “semaglutide could assist carefully selected patients in their weight loss journey”.

The SMC also accepted a range of cancer therapies including Gilead Sciences’ and Kite Pharma’s Tecartus (Brexucabtagene autoleucel) for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. The regulator also approved AstraZeneca’s Lynparza (Olaparib), Bayer’s Stivarga (regorafanib) and Beigene’s Brukinsa (zanubrutinib) for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, respectively. Bayer’s Nubeqa (darolutamide) is also now available under NHS Scotland for advanced prostate cancer treatment.

The regulator also approved AbbVie’s Aquipta (ategopant) for migraine prevention, and MSD’s Welireg (Belzutifan) for von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease. VHL is a rare genetic condition that cause tumours and cysts to form on different parts of the body. Zogenix and UCB Pharma’s Fintepla (fenluramine), Takeda Pharmaceutical’s Livtencity (maribavir) and Aurinia Pharmaceuticals’ Lupkynis (voclosporin) also received approvals for Dravet syndrome, cytomegalovirus and lupus nephritis.

Muir said: “The committee is pleased to be able to accept these new medicines for a variety of conditions including breast, bowel and prostate cancer. This has been a record-breaking month for SMC in terms of the numbers of medicines that we have been able to accept for use in the NHS in Scotland.”