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There is a shortage of Metformin but alternatives are available - Dr Fong

There is a shortage of Metformin but alternatives are available - Dr Fong

By Shanil Singh
Monday 01/03/2021
Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong. [image: file]

Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong says they are facing difficulty in accessing diabetes medicine, Metformin due to reasons beyond their control but alternatives such as Glipizide and Insulin are available.

Metformin is a medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes and to help prevent type 2 diabetes if someone is at high risk of developing it.

A man has raised concerns through the National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad that he has not been given Metformin at the Lautoka Hospital since December last year and he has been told that it is out of stock.

Doctor James Fong says the reason for the shortage is that the manufacturer is finding it difficult to maintain the supply and this is a global issue but alternative anti-diabetic medicines are available.

He says one issue could be that the doctors who are prescribing may not be aware of these alternatives.

The Australian Department of Health had also reported that they may face a global shortage of Metformin from last year and going into this year.

Meanwhile Professor Biman Prasad says a number of people have contacted them and raised concerns that there is a shortage of Panadol and diabetes medicine at the Lami Health Centre, Natabua Health Centre, Rakiraki Hospital and some health centres in the Northern Division.

When questioned, Doctor Fong says there is no shortage of Panadol in these facilities and the only anti-diabetic medicine not available is Metformin.

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