Chemist + Druggist is part of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


FreeStyle Libre deliveries delayed by up to three weeks

Community pharmacies are facing weeks-long waits for the FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring system following supply problems.

Pharmacies can expect their deliveries to be delayed by up to three weeks “from date of order”, manufacturer Abbott said in an update published by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) on Wednesday (January 8).

“We are doing all we can to expedite shipments in an effort to minimise any interruptions and are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause," Abbott said. The company added that pharmacies “will receive an email with a tracking number when the product is dispatched”.

PSNC advised pharmacists to refer any affected patients back to their prescriber, to allow them to adopt alternative glucose monitoring methods in the meantime.

Direct supply

The FreeStyle Libre sensors can only be purchased directly from Abbott, the manufacturer said in a document with frequently asked questions for pharmacists.

Knights Pharmacy superintendent Pete Horrocks told C+D earlier this week that he has been experiencing delays “since before Christmas and that the [Abbott] customer service team cannot guarantee availability of stock”.

"Many of our customers have been transferred over to the new Libra sensor but with the recent ‘shipping’ issues, our pharmacy teams have had to coordinate with prescribers and diabetes nurses to arrange for alternative meters and blood testing strips for our patients," Mr Horrocks said. 

"In many instances, pharmacy teams receive the brunt of patients’ frustrations," he added.


Chris Bland, area manager at Kamsons Pharmacy, told C+D yesterday (January 9) that the chain's patients have also been affected by the delays in delivery.

"I must have spent three hours yesterday ringing hospitals, colleagues and Abbott to try and get stock," he said.

Abbott still allows pharmacists to place orders for the sensors, despite the current supply delays, Mr Bland claimed. 

"The silver lining is, I got an email this morning saying I should be receiving some stock shortly. Let's wait and see."

The FreeStyle Libre sensor was added to the NHS drug tariff in 2017. From April 2019, NHS England pledged to fund access to the device for people with type 1 diabetes.

Abbott states that “in the vast majority of cases, stock will be delivered within 24 hours to the pharmacy, or the pharmacy counter within a store”.

The FreeStyle Optium test strips, which are compatible with the FreeStyle Libre system, are in stock and pharmacists can order them via their usual wholesaler, Abbott told C+D.

Have your deliveries of the FreeStyle Libre sensor been delayed?

Related Content


Pharmacy Dispenser/ Technician
Bethnal Green North, London
Salary: Up to £30,000

Apply Now



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts