The NHS is currently facing supply issues with glucagon-like peptide receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). The global shortage in supply is partly due to a surge in off label prescriptions of the drug semaglutide being issued for weight loss which is outstripping supply.
What is the latest guidance?
The new guidance outlines a set of actions for clinicians to follow until the shortages are resolved. These include:
- Not to prescribe GLP-1 RAs outside of their approved use
- Avoid starting people with type 2 diabetes on any GLP-1 RAs
- Not to switch between drug brands or substitute with lower dosages
- Where alternative treatments need to be considered, discuss and agree a new management plan with those people affected.
The Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS) and Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) have also produced guidance which recommend supporting eligible people to access weight management and remission services.
- PCDS_ABCD GLP-1 RA shortage
- NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service
- DHSC: Medicine Supply Notification GLP-1 Receptor Agonist
Please also direct patients to the 'Keeping Healthy' section of the MyWay Diabetes Somerset website which has specific diet, lifestyle and weight management resources.