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Diabetes patients struggling without 'wonder drug'

Diabetes patients have told the BBC they are struggling without what they have called a "wonder drug".

Experts estimate about 400,000 people with Type 2 diabetes could have been affected by a national supply shortage caused by rising demand.

The new generation of medicines - GLP-1 receptor agonists - mimic a hormone that not only controls blood sugar levels but also suppresses appetite.

The government said it was trying to help resolve the supply chain issues.

NHS England has issued a National Patient Safety Alert for the drugs.

The NHS alerts require action to be taken by healthcare providers to reduce the risk of death or disability.

The diabetes medicines in short supply are Ozempic, Trulicity, Victoza, Byetta, and Bydureon. They work via injections instead of tablets.

The group of medicines has been used by the NHS for diabetes for around a decade but in recent years there has been a growth in private clinics prescribing the same drugs for weight loss for people who do not have diabetes, pushing up demand.

Novo Nordisk, which manufactures Ozempic and Victoza, told the BBC it was experiencing shortages of its medicines for people in the UK with Type 2 diabetes due to "unprecedented levels of demand".

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Source: BBC News, 26 January 2024

Have you (or a loved one) ever been prescribed medication that you were then unable to get hold of at the pharmacy or in hospital? To help us understand how these issues impact the lives of patients and families, please share your experience and insights in our hub community thread on the topic here or drop a comment below. You'll need to register with the hub first, its free and easy to do.


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