Weight loss injections have been in the news a lot recently. As a result of increased prescribing internationally there is a worldwide shortage of these medicines. Here are a couple of updates:

I’m already using a weight loss injection/tablet for my diabetes

In the UK weight loss injections (also known as GLP1 drugs with brand names including Ozempic, Rybelsus, Trulicity and Bydureon) have been prescribed only for Type 2 diabetes for some time. A few months ago the injections were in very short supply so we had to switch patients to tablet equivalents. The tablets are now also out of stock.

If you are currently taking one of these medications, we understand that you may be worried about what this news means for you. We have already put plans in place to minimise the impact on your treatment. We have identified all patients who may be affected and have devised a priority order for contacting patients to offer them an up to date diabetes review.

Depending on your most recent blood test results you will be contacted over the course of this month to agree an alternative treatment and management plan.

As the pharmacy can no longer supply your medication, if you run out please submit an eConsult and one of our team will be in touch. If you have not run out of medication, please wait to be contacted.

I would like to start a weight loss injection/tablet

We are currently experiencing a higher than normal volume of requests for weight loss injections, specifically Ozempic and Wegovy. Both of these brand names contain the same active ingredient, Semaglutide (a GLP1), in different strengths. Ozempic is licensed only for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and Wegovy has recently been licensed in the UK for the treatment of obesity.

Whilst we are aware of the recent news that NICE guidance supports Wegovy as a treatment option for obesity it is not currently commissioned locally and in any case Wegovy is not yet available within the UK due to the global shortage of GLP1 medications. When in stock again it is expected it will only be available from specialist referral centres and not General Practice.

Ozempic and other GLP1 medications are not licenced for the treatment of obesity and the medication shortage has prompted the Department of Health and Social care to issue guidance restricting it’s use. For further details please visit Our response to serious supply issues of drugs for people living with type 2 diabetes

If you would still like help with your weight, there are services available locally to help. As ever you can contact us with your query via eConsult. Based on the information you supply our care coordinator team will be able to provide you with information on which services are available to you.