It has been brought to our attention that due to manufacturing issues there is a national shortage of the GLP-1 analogue drugs. This includes semaglutide injection and tablets, dulaglutide, liraglutide, and exenatide. This shortage may last as long as a year or so.
As you no doubt realise these drugs are used to help patients with Type 2 diabetes reduce their weight and hopefully lower their average sugar levels (ie HbA1c).
Unfortunately, there is not a simple alternative that can be offered as a temporary replacement. Whilst it is not life threatening to be without this medicine, it is likely that over many months both weight and Hba1c may increase.
A healthy lifestyle and diet are by far the most effective ways of managing your diabetes and weight. Diabetes UK have a wealth of information, on how to manage your diabetes, and we would encourage you to look on their website for more guidance. You could also visit the PocketMedic website for diabetes for additional advice.
You do not need to ring or contact us. This issue is completely out of the control of GPs, hospitals and Local Health Boards. If you were started on this medication in a hospital clinic they may well contact you to arrange a review. But please bear in mind that there are many patients prescribed these agents and it maybe several months before your invitation comes through.
However, you could contact your local Welsh Assembly member, or Member of Parliament, to ask if the government ought to be taking steps to secure the safe supply of these agents for current and future patients with Type 2 diabetes.
We are grateful for your understanding of the extra workload this issue places on our practice, and rest assured that we are trying to address the predicament that affects all our diabetic patients on these agents.
Dr J A Crane