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Shortages of GLP-1 diabetes medication

Patient Information Leaflet: information for people taking a GLP-1 receptor analogue for type 2 diabetes

Stock Shortages –
Injectable and Oral GLP-1 Receptor Analogues (Dulaglutide, Exenatide, Semaglutide, Liraglutide, Lixisenatide)

Why have I been sent this leaflet?
You have been sent this leaflet as we have identified that you take GLP-1 receptor analogue drugs
for type 2 diabetes. GLP-1 receptor analogues include: Dulaglutide (Trulicity®), Exenatide (Byetta® or Bydureon®), Semaglutide (Ozempic® or Rybelsus®), Liraglutide (Victoza®), Lixisenatide (Lyxumia®).
Unfortunately, there are widespread national stock shortages with these drugs.

Why are there drug shortages?
Shortages are due to an unprecedented increased demand for these drugs.

When will these shortages be resolved?
Supply is not expected to return to normal until at least the end of 2024.

What should I do during this time with my diabetes medication?
You should continue taking all your diabetes medication as normal, including your supplies of
GLP-1 receptor analogue until notified otherwise.
If you are running low on supply (less than one week of medication left) and have tried to obtain
supply from different pharmacies, please contact your healthcare professional as soon as
possible.

Will I need a review for my diabetes?
You may need an earlier review for your diabetes. However due to the limited availability of
appointments at this time, we will do our best to arrange timely reviews. The provider of your
diabetes care may ask for a monitoring blood test sooner than planned.
Due to the number of people affected by this shortage it is recommended that people who
are most at risk should be prioritised. This may mean that some people may need to wait a
little longer to be reviewed.

Will my diabetes treatment need to change?
Your diabetes treatment may need to be changed in view of the shortage. A member of your GP
practice team will contact you if this is necessary and discuss options.

What do I do if I feel unwell?
If you feel unwell with symptoms of high blood glucose, e.g., feeling very thirsty, peeing a lot,
feeling weak or tired, blurred vision or losing weight, please seek a GP appointment at the earliest
opportunity.

Please call 111 for help if you think you have high blood glucose levels and:

  • you’re feeling sick
  • being sick or have stomach pain
  • you’re breathing more quickly than usual
  • your heart is beating faster than usual
  • you feel drowsy or are struggling to stay awake
  • your breath has a fruity smell (like pear drop sweets)
  • you feel confused or have difficulty concentrating
  • you have a high level of ketones in your blood or pee.
  • These could be signs you are becoming very unwell.

Where can I get further information about this?
We do not have any further information about the shortage or return to stock dates and we are
dealing with a high volume of calls. Please bear this in mind before considering contacting your
GP or diabetes specialist team.

Diabetes UK (www.diabetes.org.uk) have produced a series of frequently asked questions (FAQ) which you may find useful: FAQs – GLP-1 RA shortages |Diabetes UK

More information will also be added to the Sussex Health & Care website as it becomes available:
www.sussex.ics.nhs.uk