Medicines shortages

The scope and function of the IMOC is to continually develop and promote the vision, values and culture of quality pharmacy and medicines services, ensuring that commissioned services meet national and local clinical standards, realising equitable access to medicines for the HNY population and in turn quality outcomes across HNY.

Here you will find information and guidance relating to current medicines shortages.

July 2023 – National shortage of GLP-1 receptor agonists

DHSC have recently issued a Tier 3 (high impact) Medicine Supply Notification for GLP-1 receptor agonists used in the management of type 2 diabetes.

The key summary of the actions needed are as follows:

GLP-1 RAs should only be prescribed for their licensed indication

  • Avoid initiating people with type 2 diabetes on GLP-1 RAs for the duration of the GLP1-RA national shortage.
  • Review the need for prescribing a GLP-1 RA agent and stop treatment if no longer required due to not achieving desired clinical effect as per NICE CG28.
  • Avoid switching between brands of GLP-1 RAs, including between injectable and oral forms.
  • Where a higher dose preparation of GLP-1 RA is not available, do not substitute by doubling up a lower dose preparation.
  •  Where GLP-1 RA therapy is not available, proactively identify patients established on the affected preparation and consider prioritising for review (Prioritisation criteria is listed within the Medicine Supply notification.
  • Where an alternative glucose lowering therapy needs to be considered, use the principles of shared decision making as per NICE guidelines.
  • Where there is reduced access to GLP-1 RAs, support people with type 2 diabetes to access to structured education and weight management programmes where available.
  • Order stocks sensibly in line with demand during this time, limiting prescribing to minimise risk to the supply chain whilst acknowledging the needs of the patient.

Further resources:

Additional signposting and resources:

Oviva Type 2 Diabetes Remission Programme

  1. Introduction to Oviva
  2. Oviva introductory script
  3. Oviva consultation checklist
  4. Participant invitation letter
  5. Participant opt-in letter

See also: