Updated glucose-lowering therapy guidance issued amid national shortage of GLP-1 receptor agonists

Updated glucose-lowering therapy guidance issued amid national shortage of GLP-1 receptor agonists

A new guideline has outlined which medications can now be given to people with type 2 diabetes who would normally be prescribed glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs). 

Developed by the Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS) and the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD), the guidance aims to support clinicians in selecting alternative glucose-lowering therapies for treating type 2 diabetes while there is a national shortage of GLP-1RAs.

These alternative agents include Rybelsus (oral semaglutide) and the novel first-in-class dual GIP/GLP-1 RA, Mounjaro (tirzepatide), which is now available for use in the management of type 2 diabetes.

According to the guideline, these recommendations should be used in conjunction with the NICE guidance, NG28 Type 2 Diabetes in Adults: choosing medicines.

This advice comes after the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced in June 2023 that there are “very limited, intermittent supplies” of all GLP1RAs.

The shortage has been caused by an increase in demand for these products for licensed and off-label indications.

Until supply issues have resolved, clinicians are being advised to avoid starting people with type 2 diabetes on GLP-1 RAs. The shortage is not expected to resolve until late 2024.

To access the new guidance, click here.

Author: Philip Lopez