Notice: Recommendations while Ozempic and other GLP-1 agonists are in shortage

Date: December 6, 2023

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Latest update on the shortage

Ozempic (semaglutide) and other GLP-1 receptor agonists used to treat adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are in shortage around the world, including in Canada. High demand has caused this shortage.  

Novo Nordisk Canada Inc, which markets Ozempic, is expecting shortages of the 0.25/0.5 mg and 1 mg pens in Canada until early 2024. Eli Lilly Canada Inc, which markets Trulicity (Dulaglutide) and Mounjaro (Tirzepatide), a GIP and GLP-1 receptor agonist, is also expecting shortages of both drugs in Canada throughout early 2024.

Both manufacturers expect to receive additional supplies over the coming months. However, products may not always be available at pharmacies due to continued high demand.

Efforts are being made to increase manufacturing capacity. But it will take time to build up supply levels to meet the demand.

What we’re doing

Health Canada is working with manufacturers and stakeholders to monitor supply. We’re also looking at how these products can be made more available.

We have engaged groups representing patients, such as Diabetes Canada, Diabète Québec and Obesity Canada. We’re also communicating with the provincial and territorial governments and regulators in other impacted countries.

We brought together clinical expert groups to develop recommendations for prescribers and for patients affected by the shortage.

Recommendations for prescribers

We engaged the following expert groups:

These expert groups recommend that prescribers:

Access resources from the Canadian Pharmacists Association and medSask, a not-for-profit that supports appropriate prescribing and medication safety, on alternatives:

We continue to monitor the supply of these drugs closely. We will take action, as necessary, and publish updates on the supply situation.

Recommendations for patients

We recognize the importance of Ozempic, Trulicity and Mounjaro for patients. Addressing these shortages is a top priority.

Because supplies are not regular, these drugs should be conserved for people who have no other treatment choices. Your doctor may decide to prescribe a different medication for you.

Before your current supply runs out, you should contact your pharmacy well in advance. Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. and Eli Lilly Canada Inc. are asking pharmacists to limit refill prescriptions for patients to a 30-day supply.

You should always:

All drugs approved for sale in Canada have an 8-digit drug identification number (DIN). The DIN assures you that Health Canada has assessed a drug and considers it’s safe and effective when used as directed on the label. The DIN also provides a way to track adverse drug reactions.

Learn more:

Report any health product-related side effects or complaints to Health Canada.

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