Panic buying and stockpiling of diabetes-related medications and products due to uncertainty about the emerging COVID-19 pandemic is causing concern for people with diabetes, according to the NDSS.
But there is no national shortage of NDSS products or insulin or other diabetes-related medicines according to the Department of Health, product suppliers, pharmacy wholesalers, and people are being advised not to overorder items.
“Unfortunately, some people are ordering more product than they would normally and keeping this extra stock at home,” the NDSS says in a statement on 19 March.
“These spikes in ordering can result in some temporary local out-of-stock situations in local pharmacies. Stockpiling medicines and products may impact access to medicines and products for other people with diabetes.”
Some insulins may appear to be unavailable because they have shorter expiry dates and are not kept on the pharmacy shelf, but are ordered on request and usually supplied the next day.
As well as causing inconvenience for others, ordering larger than usual amounts of NDSS products may affect a person’s annual product limits, it warns.
The Australian Diabetes Educators Association says its members are reporting that some people with diabetes not being able to access some NDSS products and non-NDSS diabetes medications on demand.
“Most of the localised product issues that some people with diabetes are experiencing, relate to a significant spike over the past week in people accessing diabetes medications and products i.e. it appears that some people are stockpiling these medications and products resulting in a temporary shortage at some pharmacies,” it says
ADEA members should advise patients to not stockpile medication or NDSS supplies as supplies will continue to be available to them.
“If your clients need to access additional supplies for the purpose of managing sick days, please advise them to only access the volume of medication or products they need.”