WQ92734 (e) Tabled on 01/05/2024

What action is the Welsh Government taking to help maintain the supply of insulin drugs to community pharmacies in Wales?

Answered by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care | Answered on 03/05/2024

Any disruption to the supply of medicines is unsettling and frustrating for people who have been prescribed them. Maintaining the continuity of supply of medicines to the UK is a reserved matter and is the responsibility of the UK Government. However, managing the implications of supply disruptions for patients and the NHS requires co-ordinated action between the UK and devolved governments, and the NHS.

There are currently supply disruptions affecting a number of insulin preparations, including Fiasp FlexTouch® (insulin aspart) and Tresiba FlexTouch ® (insulin degludec) 100units/ml solution in 3ml pre-filled pens. These are expected to be out of stock until January 2025.

Levemir InnoLet® and Insulatard InnoLet® 100units/ml suspension for injection in 3ml pre-filled pens have recently been discontinued by the manufacturer.

Medicines shortage letters have been issued for each of these, advising clinicians and community pharmacies of the actions that need to be taken.

Anyone who is having difficulty obtaining treatment should contact their doctor or pharmacist to discuss what alternatives might be available.

You may also wish to be aware of the Welsh Government’s Medicines Shortages web page, which offers general advice on why shortages occur and how they are managed: https://www.gov.wales/medicines-shortages and https://www.llyw.cymru/prinder-meddyginiaethau.