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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

Branded Shortages List

Last Amendment to List: 12.11.12 (reviewed monthly since)

Pharmacies have reported problems obtaining the following medicines through wholesalers. If a product cannot be obtained through the normal channels, emergency stock can be obtained direct from the manufacturer.

Aprovel 300mg tablets (Sanofi)
Azilect 1mg tablets (Lundbeck Ltd)
Azopt 10mg/ml eye drops (Alcon Laboratories (UK) Ltd)
Cialis 20mg tablets (Eli Lilly and Company Ltd)
Cipralex 10mg tablets (Lundbeck Ltd)
Cipralex 20mg tablets(Lundbeck Ltd)
CoAprovel 150mg/12.5mg tablets (Sanofi)
CoAprovel 300mg/12.5mg tablets (Sanofi)
CoAprovel 300mg/25mg tablets (Sanofi)
Cymbalta 30mg gastro-resistant capsules (Eli Lilly and Company Ltd)
Cymbalta 60mg gastro-resistant capsules (Eli Lilly and Company Ltd)
DuoTrav eye drops (Alcon Laboratories (UK) Ltd)
Emselex 7.5mg modified-release tablets (Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd)
Emselex 15mg modified-release tablets (Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd)
Eucreas 50mg/1000mg tablets (Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd)
Exforge 10mg/160mg tablets (Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd)
Exforge 5mg/160mg tablets (Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd)
Exforge 5mg/80mg tablets (Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd)
Ezetrol 10mg tablets (MSD-SP Ltd)
Micardis 40mg tablets (Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd)
Micardis 80mg tablets (Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd)
MicardisPlus 40mg/12.5mg tablets (Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd)
MicardisPlus 80mg/12.5mg tablets (Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd)
Spiriva 18microgram inhalation powder capsules (Combopack and Refill Pack) (Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd)
Spiriva Respimat 2.5micrograms/dose solution for inhalation cartridge with device (Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd)
Symbicort Turbohaler (AstraZeneca UK Ltd)
Travatan 40micrograms/ml eye drops (Alcon Laboratories (UK) Ltd)
Yentreve 20mg gastro-resistant capsules (Eli Lilly and Company Ltd)

 
Manufacturers have alerted PSNC to manufacturing problems  impacting on the supply of the following products. More information is available by clicking on the relevant link:

Lantus Solostar - Supply shortages (Sanofi)

Merck Sharpe & Dohme Ltd: Various Products

Mercaptopurine supply issues

Nystan Oral Suspension 100,000 units/ml (Nystatin)

Novartis statement on product shortages

Piportil Depot 50mg/1ml solution for injection ampoules - Supply interruption (Sanofi)

Scheriproct Suppositories - Supply Difficulties (Bayer)

Skinoren 20% Cream - Supply Difficulties (Bayer)

Singulair 4mg Oral Granules (Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Ltd)

Tredaptive 1000mg/20mg modified-release tablets - Availability suspended

Xenical 120mg capsules/ Micera  (Roche Products Ltd)

Vermox 100mg/5ml oral suspension -Mebendazole (Janssen-Cilag Ltd) [as of October 2011]

Please note: If a wholesaler chose to trade medicines for export and as a consequence the needs of patients in the UK were not met, the holder of the wholesale dealer’s licence could be in breach of the Regulations, and could face regulatory action against his licence, and/or criminal prosecution. This also applies to products that have not been reported as having supply problems and are therefore not listed above. There is no obstacle to exporting medicines in a way that does not impact on availability of the product to UK patients.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can a pharmacy legally trade medicines to a wholesaler for export?

The holder of a wholesale dealer’s licence may only legally obtain medicinal products for human use from licensed manufacturers or licensed wholesale dealers in the UK or other eeA Member states. It is not permitted for a wholesaler to obtain medicines for human use from a pharmacy that is not also a licensed wholesale dealer.

There is no obstacle to the holder of a wholesale dealer’s licence trading medicines in a way that does not impact on availability of the product to UK patients. However, if a wholesaler chose to trade medicines for export and as a consequence the needs of patients in the UK were not met, the holder of the wholesale dealer’s licence could be in breach of the Regulations, and could face regulatory action against his licence, and/or criminal prosecution. This applies both where trading medicines compounds an existing supply problem and where the action of trading medicines creates a supply problem. A list of medicines that pharmacies are regularly reporting problems obtaining can be found on the PsNC website (www.psnc.org.uk/brandedshortages). The list is updated monthly.

The enforcement authority for the Medicines Act is the MHRA. The MHRA have committed to investigating any suspected breaches of the regulations and have begun a proactive, targeted programme of inspection. To report a suspected breach, contact the MHRA case referral centre (020 7084 2330, casereferrals@mhra.gsi.gov.uk).

More detailed information on legislation to control the appropriate and continued supply of medicines to patients in the UK can be found in the guidance note, “Trading Medicines for Human Use: shortages and supply Chain Obligations” which can be downloaded here.

A manufacturer has asked me to fax a prescription before they will authorise supply. Is this not a breach of information governance?

In February 2011, supply chain best practice guidance was published by the representative bodies of all parties in the supply chain along with the Government and regulators. The guidance can be found on the Department of Health website, just click here.

This guidance makes it very clear that requesting faxed prescriptions prior to supply is not acceptable as routine practice. There are a range of reasons why this is not acceptable practice, for example for information governance reasons and because of the workload burden it imposes on pharmacies.

The guidance also states that if a pharmacy is asked to fax a prescription to a manufacturer, pharmacy staff should completely obscure all patient data and prescriber details. This should include any barcodes, which could be used to obtain confidential information.

How often is the List reviewed?

The List is reviewed each month based on the most up-to-date information available, and if required, amendments are applied.