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Diabetes: Doctors are told not to start new patients on GLP-1 agonists because of shortages

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 01 September 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p2019
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Clinicians in England are being advised that they cannot prescribe appetite suppressants for patients with type 2 diabetes until at least the middle of next year, because of ongoing shortages.

Until supplies return to normal, clinicians should avoid starting people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes on glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England have said. Patients already taking any of the drugs affected may need to be switched to alternative glucose lowering therapies such as insulin if prescriptions can’t be filled, the guidance advises.

The alert applied to drugs including semaglutide (marketed as Ozempic or Rybelsus), dulaglutide (Trulicity), liraglutide (Victoza or Saxenda), Lixisenatide (Lyxumia), and exenatide (Byetta or Bydureon).

The government believes that global shortages of GLP-1 agonists were caused …

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