NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines
Medicines Update

Pioglitazone shortage

All strengths of pioglitazone tablets are currently in short supply. Further deliveries are expected during December and January however overall supply may be limited.


It is suggested that prescriptions for pioglitazone are limited to a 28-day supply while supplies remain limited. This will avoid exacerbation of any shortages and may help to avoid the need for referral to specialists and any extra monitoring associated with switching medicines, particularly over the festive period. 


If Pioglitazone is unavailable


If patients are unable to access a supply of pioglitazone the Diabetes MCN have provided the following advice.

  • Patients whose most recent HbA1c was > 58 mmol/mol should be reviewed for an alternative treatment
  • Patients with a recent HbA1C < 58 mmol/mol should continue with their current supply of pioglitazone until complete.  HbA1c should be checked 3 months after the last dose of pioglitazone is taken as it has an effect on glycaemic control for between 3-6 months after it has been discontinued.
  • If HbA1c has not deteriorated at 3 months, pioglitazone does not need to be restarted and an alternative treatment will not be required.
  • If the HbA1c has deteriorated at 3 months, pioglitazone should be restarted if it is available or an alternative treatment initiated as per NHS GGC formulary and Diabetes Guidelines.



Published 14/12/15, updated with MCN advice 18/12/15