Diabetics face critical medicine shortages as drugs are snapped up for weight loss treatment

PUTNEY, U.K. - Sept. 21, 2023 - PRLog -- Many of Britain's 4.3 million registered diabetics face a critical medication shortage because their treatments are being snapped up by dieters trying weight loss jabs.

'Wonder' weight loss drugs, such as Wegovy, can help people shed 10%-15% of their bodyweight, largely by supressing their appetite. However, some of these weight loss jabs are based on semaglutide, first developed for treating diabetes. This means the boom in demand for 'magic bullet' weight loss jabs is contributing to a major shortage in key diabetes medication, says a leading expert.

Leading blood testing expert, Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: 'There is now a global shortage of semaglutide-based drugs for treating diabetes. Key among these is Wegovy's sister drug, Ozempic, used by the NHS as a treatment for managing blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% of all diabetes cases in the UK.

Both Wegovy and Ozempic are produced by the Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk. The problem is that Ozempic has increasingly been prescribed off label (outside of its approved licence) for weight loss as an alternative to Wegovy. Now Novo Nordisk is warning of shortages of Ozempic stretching into 2025.

However, there is some welcome news of another GLP-1 analogue drug just about to reach the UK. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved the use of tirzepatide (brand name Mounjaro) for treating type 2 diabetes. Again, it's vital this new medication is prioritised as a further treatment for diabetes, rather than for other purposes. It, too, is likely to be in hot demand by people seeking to lose weight the easy way

Unmanaged or undiagnosed diabetes is one of the leading causes of mortality. Diabetes is usually linked to factors such as weight, lifestyle, age and family history. 1 in 10 people will have diabetes by the end of the next decade, and 1 in 3 will be at a much increased risk of developing it. The concerning thing is that it is quite common for people to have diabetes and not know about it.

'Fortunately, there is a simple blood test (https://www.londonmedicallaboratory.com/product/diabetes-...) that will categorically confirm whether or not you have type 2 diabetes – even in the earliest stages, long before any symptoms have developed. This home test checks your levels of HbA1c. This biomarker is used to confirm whether you have (or are at risk of developing) diabetes. It can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 95 selected pharmacies and health stores.

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