Medication supply issues: glucagon-like peptide receptor agonists (used for patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity)

25th July 2023

The NHS is currently facing supply issues with a group of medications known as the glucagon-like peptide receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs), a range of drugs used for managing blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Some people with obesity are also prescribed GLP-1 RAs.

The medications that might be affected include:
Dulaglutide (with the brand name Trulicity)
Exenatide (with the brand name Byetta or Bydureon)
Liraglutide (with the brand name Victoza)
Lixisenatide (with the brand name Lyxumia)
Semaglutide (with the brand name Ozempic or Rybelsus)  

Not all the medications listed will be affected or affected at the same time.

If you are on one of these medications and your prescription is available, you should continue taking your medication in the usual way. However, if you are unable to get your prescription, or if you are told that your medication is not available, you should contact your GP practice to let them know that. You may require an alternative type of medication.

For most people who are unable to get their medication, there will be no immediate safety concern.

Because lots of people are affected, it may take your clinical team a little time to review your clinical record and suggest an alternative for you. In some cases, advice might be required from a specialist.  

Diabetes UK has released an FAQ document which can be found here.

MHRA warns of unsafe fake weight loss pens

Fake, potentially harmful Ozempic and Saxenda pens have been found in the UK: you should only access these medicines via a medical prescription. 

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is warning the public not to buy pre-filled pens claiming to contain Ozempic (semaglutide) or Saxenda (liraglutide) but to consult a healthcare professional qualified to prescribe medicines and obtain a prescription. 

For the latest information please read the MHRA press release.