1. The Inside Scoop
  2. Living with Diabetes
  3. GLP-1s Shortage: What Diabetics Need to Know
glp-1s shortage

GLP-1s Shortage: What Diabetics Need to Know

March 19, 2024

If you're a diabetic who relies on GLP-1s for managing your blood sugar levels, then you need to be aware of the ongoing shortage of these medications. GLP-1s, also known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, are injectable drugs that help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. However, due to a shortage in the supply of these medications, many diabetics are finding it difficult to access the treatment they need. It's important to stay informed about the situation and speak to your healthcare provider about alternative options or strategies to manage your diabetes effectively during this shortage.

Close up of diabetic measurement tools and pills on color background
Inside Scoop

The Inside Rx Blog

Get the Inside Scoop on tips & tricks that may help your family save on prescriptions!

Subscribe to stay up to date with the latest news and tips

Understanding the Shortage of GLP-1s

The shortage of GLP-1s (glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist) has become a pressing concern for individuals living with diabetes. To fully grasp the implications of this shortage, it's crucial to understand its underlying causes. One significant factor contributing to the shortage is the increased demand for GLP-1 medications like Wegovy, Ozempic, and Mounjaro. As more people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the demand for effective treatments has risen. Additionally, the manufacturing and supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have further exacerbated the shortage. The demand for GLP-1 medications has skyrocketed in recent years, with prescriptions for these injectable diabetes medications surging by over 2,000% since 2019.

Another factor to consider is the limited number of companies producing GLP-1s. With only a few manufacturers in the market, any disruption in production can have significant consequences on the availability of these medications. As a result, diabetics are left grappling with the uncertainty of obtaining their essential medications.

Impact of the GLP-1 Shortage on Diabetic Patients

The shortage of GLP-1s has a profound impact on the lives of diabetic patients. These medications are instrumental in managing blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of complications, and improving overall quality of life. Without access to their prescribed GLP-1s, diabetics may face challenges in maintaining optimal blood sugar control.

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to a variety of health complications, including cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, and nerve damage. For individuals who have successfully incorporated GLP-1s into their diabetes management routine, the shortage can disrupt their progress and potentially put their health at risk.

Alternative Treatment Options for Diabetics During the Shortage

While the shortage of GLP-1s presents significant challenges, there are alternative treatment options available for diabetic patients. It's essential for individuals facing this shortage to consult with their healthcare providers to explore suitable alternatives. One potential option is the use of other injectable medications, such as insulin or other non-insulin injectables.

Insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, is a well-established treatment for diabetes. For some patients, transitioning to insulin therapy may be a viable alternative during the GLP-1 shortage. Additionally, non-insulin injectables, such as SGLT-2 inhibitors or DPP-4 inhibitors, may provide temporary relief until the GLP-1 supply stabilizes.

Tips for Managing Diabetes Without GLP-1s

Managing diabetes without access to GLP-1s can be challenging, but with the right strategies, individuals can still maintain effective blood sugar control. Here are some tips to help navigate this shortage:

  1. Monitor blood sugar levels closely: Regularly check your blood sugar levels to track any fluctuations and adjust your treatment plan accordingly. This will help you identify patterns and make informed decisions about managing your diabetes.
  2. Follow a healthy diet: Focus on consuming a balanced diet that is low in sugar and carbohydrates. A healthy diet can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce the need for additional medications.
  3. Engage in regular exercise: Physical activity plays a crucial role in managing diabetes. Regular exercise can improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, and enhance overall well-being.
  4. Work closely with your healthcare provider: Maintain open communication with your healthcare provider to discuss alternative treatment options, receive guidance on managing your diabetes, and address any concerns you may have.
  5. Join support groups: Connect with other diabetics who are facing similar challenges. Support groups can provide valuable insights, tips, and emotional support during this time.

Advocacy and Awareness Campaigns for the GLP-1 Shortage

Recognizing the urgency of the GLP-1 shortage, various advocacy and awareness campaigns have emerged to shed light on the issue. These initiatives aim to raise awareness among policymakers, healthcare professionals, and the general public about the critical importance of addressing the shortage and finding sustainable solutions.

Advocacy groups are actively working to advocate for increased production, improved supply chain resilience, and better access to GLP-1s for diabetic patients. By rallying support and driving attention to the issue, these campaigns are instrumental in creating a sense of urgency and pushing for immediate action.

How Healthcare Providers Are Addressing the GLP-1 Shortage

Healthcare providers play a vital role in helping diabetic patients navigate the GLP-1 shortage. They are working diligently to provide alternative treatment options, educate patients about potential alternatives, and ensure ongoing monitoring and support.

In response to the shortage, healthcare providers are closely monitoring their patients' conditions, adjusting treatment plans as necessary, and exploring potential solutions for each individual. They are leveraging their expertise to help patients maintain optimal blood sugar control and minimize the impact of the shortage on their overall health.

Potential Solutions to the GLP-1 Shortage

Finding solutions to the GLP-1 shortage requires collaboration among various stakeholders, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, regulatory bodies, and healthcare providers. Some potential solutions that are being considered include:

  1. Increasing manufacturing capacity: Increasing the production of GLP-1s can help meet the growing demand and alleviate the shortage. Pharmaceutical companies are exploring ways to ramp up production and streamline the supply chain to ensure a steady and consistent availability of these medications.
  2. Diversifying the market: Encouraging more companies to enter the market and produce GLP-1s can help create a more competitive landscape, reducing the vulnerability to shortages caused by disruptions in a single manufacturer's operations.
  3. Improving supply chain resilience: Strengthening the supply chain by implementing robust contingency plans, diversifying sourcing options, and enhancing communication and collaboration among stakeholders can mitigate the impact of disruptions and minimize future shortages.

Resources for Diabetics Affected by the GLP-1 Shortage

For diabetics affected by the GLP-1 shortage, it is crucial to have access to relevant resources and support. Here are some resources that can provide valuable information and assistance:

  1. Diabetes advocacy groups: Organizations such as the American Diabetes Association offer resources, support, and advocacy efforts to help individuals manage their diabetes effectively during the shortage.
  2. Pharmaceutical assistance programs: Some pharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs that provide financial aid or alternative access to medications during shortages. Check with your healthcare provider or the specific manufacturer for more information.
  3. Telehealth services: Telehealth services allow patients to consult with healthcare providers remotely. These services can provide guidance, prescriptions, and ongoing support for managing diabetes during the shortage.
  4. Online communities and forums: Joining online communities and forums for diabetics can provide a platform to connect with others facing similar challenges, share experiences, and gather valuable insights and advice.

Saving on your GLP-1 Prescription

If your doctor has prescribed you a GLP-1 it’s important to know what you can do to save on your prescriptions. Prescription discount cards like Inside Rx may be able to help you save up to 80% on your GLP-1 prescription. Simply price your medication, download the Inside Rx prescription discount card and present your savings card and prescription to your pharmacist at the time of checkout and see if you can save.

The Inside Rx prescription discount card works like a manufacturer coupon to save on the cost of prescription medication at your local pharmacy.


$ 1,069.99
Pen Injector, 1/0.75(3) (package of 3.0 ml(s))
1 Package
Get Savings Card


$ 1,509.36
Pen Injector, 1Mg/0.5Ml (package of 2.0 ml(s))
1 Package
Get Savings Card

Novolin N

$ 28.54
Vial, 100/Ml (package of 10.0 ml(s))
1 Vial
Get Savings Card

Conclusion and Future Outlook for the GLP-1 Shortage

The shortage of GLP-1s has undoubtedly posed significant challenges for individuals living with diabetes. However, by staying informed, exploring alternative treatment options, and working closely with healthcare providers, diabetics can effectively manage their condition amidst the current situation.

Advocacy efforts, increased manufacturing capacity, and enhanced supply chain resilience are promising signs for the future. By addressing the root causes of the shortage and implementing sustainable solutions, we can strive for a more reliable and accessible supply of GLP-1s, ensuring that diabetics receive the essential medications they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any changes to your diabetes treatment plan.