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Joint ABCD and PCDS guidance: GLP-1 receptor agonist national shortage

The Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS) and Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) are very concerned about the ongoing national shortage affecting the availability of GLP-1 receptor analogues (GLP-1 RAs). This is very difficult for people with diabetes who are unable to access their GLP-1 RA medication, and for their clinicians who are unable to provide the treatment they feel is necessary.

The need to consider switching or starting alternative therapies may have a significant impact on workload for primary care and community and specialist diabetes teams, and may cause people with diabetes anxiety and concern. Unfortunately, we are informed that this limited availability is likely to continue until mid-2024.

We have written to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Health and the Undersecretary of State for Health (Minister for Primary Care and Public Health), copying in the Chief Executive of NHS England and the National Clinical Director for Diabetes and Obesity, to raise our concerns.

The PCDS and ABCD have collaborated to produce guidance to support clinical decision making when GLP-1 RAs are unavailable.

Where GLP-1 RAs are available, their use should be prioritised for people with clinical need, and they should only be prescribed within their licensed indication(s), in accordance with NICE guidance.

Clare Hambling, Chair, PCDS 
Ketan Dhatariya, Chair, ABCD

Download the guidance

This joint guidance from the PCDS and ABCD aims to support clinicians in selecting alternative glucose-lowering therapies when GLP-1 RAs are unavailable during this period of national shortage.

Glucagon-Like-Peptide 1 Receptor Agonist National Shortage Guidance