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 complete as soon as possible and no later than 28 March 2024. Click on the link below to view the latest national patient safety alert issued on 3 Jan 2024:
- Only prescribe GLP-1 RAs for licensed indications
- Prescribe Rybelsus® tablets for new initiations of a GLP-1 RA (in line with NICE NG28)
- Identify patients prescribed Byetta® and Victoza® injections and (in line with NICE NG28) switch to Rybelsus® tablets.
- 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 recommends 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 'GLP-1 RA Lifestyle Support' section of the My Way Diabetes website which has specific diet, lifestyle and weight management resources.