Persistent shortage of diabetes medicine Ozempic and Victoza | News item

News item | 17-11-2023 | 10:00

The global shortage of diabetes drug Ozempic (semaglutide) will continue into 2024. The manufacturer reports this to the medicines authority CBG. The shortage is lasting longer due to capacity problems in factories and rapidly increasing demand for the drug. To increase production of Ozempic, the manufacturer has decided to temporarily reduce the supply of another diabetes drug Victoza (liraglutide). Doctors and pharmacists are advised not to temporarily prescribe Victoza or give it to new patients. And to limit this for Ozempic.

Ozempic is in the media a lot because it is used off-label as a slimming aid. Earlier this year warned the MEB not to use this medicine without the supervision of a doctor.

Continued shortages are expected for Ozempic throughout 2024. For Victoza, the shortage will last until at least the second quarter of next year.

Advice to healthcare providers

  • Do not initiate new patients on Victoza until delivery has improved. This will probably last until the second quarter of 2024.
  • Limit initiation of new patients on Ozempic until delivery has improved. This will likely last until at least the first quarter of 2024.
  • Is one or both diabetes medications unavailable? Prescribe an appropriate alternative based on your clinical judgement.

Over Ozempic and Victoza

Ozempic and Victoza are approved for people with diabetes. The medicines are administered by injection into a pre-filled pen. Patients receive one of these medications with a doctor’s prescription and often combine this treatment with other diabetes medications and with diet and exercise.

Letter with risk information

The marketing authorization holder Novo Nordisk has sent a letter on this subject, a so-called Direct Healthcare Professional Communication (DHPC). The letter with this important information was sent in consultation with the MEB and the Health Care and Youth Inspectorate (IGJ) to: internists (io) / endocrinologists (io), diabetes nurses, (hospital) pharmacists and general practitioners (io)’. The Dutch Diabetes Association (DVN) has also been informed.

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