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Expert opinion

A statement about reported insulin shortages in the UK

JDRF’s Director of Policy responds to the reporting of the reduced availability of some forms of insulin
Content last reviewed and updated: 29.04.2024

On Sunday 28th April JDRF’s Hilary Nathan was quoted in a feature in The Guardian, which puts a spotlight on insulin shortages in the UK.

Here is Hilary’s statement in full.

“We know that any changes to prescriptions or reported lack of availability of insulin will increase worry. People with type 1 diabetes can’t make their own insulin and must inject daily or deliver insulin via a pump. A regular and reliable supply of insulin is essential for life.

People with type 1 diabetes must regulate their own insulin injections and dose, so it’s imperative that they have confidence in the supply of their regular type of insulin. The news of any shortages could cause significant anxiety to people with type 1 diabetes.

Any shortage of insulin vials is of particular concern as people who use pumps to deliver their insulin rely on these forms of the drug. Without access to vials people may need to use insulin pens again, which could be enormously disruptive and distressing to their everyday life.

As the UK’s type 1 diabetes charity, JDRF is calling for the Department for Health and Social Care to make a comprehensive response detailing the scale of any reported shortages, how long they are likely to last and how this will be resolved. This is vital for healthcare professionals, pharmacies and charities to be able to reassure people with type 1 that they will have continuing supplies of their prescribed insulin. We will be watching developments closely.

We would urge anyone experiencing shortages to speak to their GP or diabetes healthcare team for support.”