The DHSC is responsible for the continuity of supply of medicines and manufacturers have a legal requirement to inform DHSC of any supply problems.

DHSC and NHSE/I have now launched an online Medicines Supply Tool, which provides up to date information about medicine supply issues. The contents of this report can now be viewed on the Tool. To access the Tool, you will be required to register with the SPS website. Please be aware that emails from SPS may be diverted to your junk mail folder.

Further information may be issued by a Medicine Supply Notification (MSN) to providers.

We are also aware that prescribers may also be asked for an alternative by pharmacies if there is a local supply issue.  This will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) have also recently been introduced to enable community pharmacies to dispense agreed alternatives without requesting a prescription amendment.

How to access information:

SPS Medicines Supply Tool :  Requires simple free registration process and log in to access –  Medicines Supply Tool – SPS – Specialist Pharmacy Service – The first stop for professional medicines advice

Mims Shortage Tracker : requires registration and is  only available to subscribers – not free Drug shortages – live tracker | MIMS online

PrescQIPP : Out of stock bulletins and intelligence – Requires simple free registration process and log in to access – Out of stock bulletins and intelligence | PrescQIPP C.I.C

Current SSPs:

BSW ICB Medicines Shortages - Local tips

Medication Unavailable - alternative request form for Community Pharmacy use


Prescribing available medicines to treat ADHD during national shortages

Oct 2023 - National information, including links to the relevant National Patient Safety Alert and lists of availability of ADHD medicines (content maintained by DHSC) is hosted by SPS Medicine Supply Tool [note SPS website requires users to register and log in].

Additionally, SPS have published a series of national resources to support the ongoing management of supply disruption of medicines used to treat ADHD:-

Medicines Information Bulletin from AWP - Managing ADHD Medicines Shortages in ADULTS: Advice for Primary Care (October - December 2023)

BSW ICB commission a CAMHS service from Oxford for ADHD in children and young people. They have produced these Patient Information Leaflets to be shared with patients:

Guanfacine (Intuniv)

Lis-dexamfetamine (Elvanse and Elvanse Adult)

Methylphenidate (Equasym XL, Xaggitin XL, Concerta XL, Xenidate XL)

This information from a bordering CAMHS service might be useful:
AWP Sirona and CAMHs information for children and young people - Managing ADHD Medicine Shortages in CAMHS: Advice for Primary Care (October – December 2023)

Community paediatric teams contact information:

HCRG Contacts
Wiltshire SPA
Telephone 03002470090
Telephone 03002470055
Swindon area
Contact via Cinapsis advice and guidance email for Community Paediatrics
CAMHS Services – Oxfordshire 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday
Oxfordshire Neurodevelopmental Conditions Pathway
Getting More Help South


ClinOx ADHD Medication Shortages -  including guidance from Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB)



Prescribing available GLP-1 receptor agonists during national shortages:

Jan 2024 - National shortage of GLP1 Receptor Agonists

An updated National Patient Safety Alert (NatPSA) on the shortage of GLP-1 receptor agonists  issued on 3 January 2024 notes that supply of GLP-1 RAs is not expected to return to normal until at least the end of 2024.

Actions for clinicians and prescribers of GLP-1 RAs until supply issues have resolved can be found in the alert and should be completed by clinicians and prescribers as soon as possible and no later than 28 March 2024. The NatPSA alert should be read in full but some key points are noted below:

Community pharmacy colleagues have been advised:

  • Not to suggest alternative injectable GLP-1 RAs or different dose even if they do have stock as per MSN directive.
  • Not to suggest that patients routinely contact surgeries, DSNs or Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service for a clinical review unless the patient is feeling unwell as a result of stopping GLP-1 RA.

Surgeries have been advised:

  • That GLP-1 RAs should only be prescribed for their licensed indication.
  • Rybelsus® (semaglutide) tablets are now available in sufficient quantities to support initiation of GLP-1 RA treatment in people with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in whom new initiation of GLP-1 RA therapy would be clinically appropriate. Prescribe Rybelsus® tablets for new initiations of a GLP-1 RA (in line with NICE NG28).
  • To identify patients prescribed Byetta® and Victoza® injections and (in line with NICE NG28) switch to Rybelsus® tablets.
  • To counsel patients on any changes in drug, formulation, and dose regimen where appropriate (see additional information in the alert)
  • To avoid switching between brands of injectable GLP-1 Ras and avoid substituting higher dose preparations by ‘doubling up’ or switching between strengths of a GLP- RA solely based on availability.
  • To order stocks sensibly in line with demand during this time, limiting prescribing to minimise risk to the supply chain whilst acknowledging the needs of the patient.
  • To encourage patients to engage with structured education and weight management programmes where available (details of locality arrangements to follow).
  • To continue to undertake a review process (searches and template PILS have been sent to practices and are included as links below).
    Patients will be triaged with higher risk patients being proactively invited for review.

Prescribing Incentive Scheme FY 23/24 - Review of GLP-1s as response to national shortage – Supporting information

Prescribing Incentive Scheme FY 23/24 - Review of GLP-1s as response to national shortage – Information for Practices



Update March 2024: Glucagon-Like-Peptide 1 Receptor Agonist National

Advice for those stopping GLP1's NHS leaflet - produced by Somerset ICB and approved for use across BSW

Diabetes UK have a FAQ factsheet for people affected by the shortages: Diabetes UK - FAQS - GLP-1 RA Shortages

Please continue to check Stock Shortages - Medicines ( for local updates as well as utilising the national information hosted by SPS Medicine Supply Tool Shortage of GLP-1 receptor agonists used in the management of type 2 diabetes (semaglutide, dulaglutide, liraglutide, exenatide) – SPS - Specialist Pharmacy Service – The first stop for professional medicines advice [note SPS website requires users to register and log in)

Further Comments:

OptimiseRx also create messages if there are known supply issues with the prescribed medication at the point of prescribing to alert the prescriber to consider an alternative.

Contact for support with specific shortages or feedback.