UPDATED: Priadel withdrawal paused while CMA investigate the supply

UPDATED: Priadel withdrawal paused while CMA investigate the supply

October 8, 2020

Update as of 8th October 2020

Essential Pharma has informed the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) of its decision to reverse the discontinuation of Priadel 200mg and 400mg tablets from the UK market with immediate effect, whilst facilitating pricing discussions. As such the discontinuation notice issued to DHSC earlier this year has been withdrawn.

In light of this, clinicians across all healthcare settings are advised that there is no longer a need to implement system wide switching of patients from Priadel tablets to an alternative lithium carbonate preparation until further notice.

Essential Pharma has confirmed supplies of Priadel 200mg and 400mg tablets are sufficient to meet current UK demand and is working to ensure further stocks are available to maintain supply after April 2021.

Click here to view the CAS Alert.

The withdrawal of Priadel® (Lithium carbonate) 200mg and 400mg modified-release tablets from the UK market has been paused. This follows an announcement by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of an investigation opening into Essential Pharma’s intention to discontinue supply of Priadel tablets.

On 21st August 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) issued a supply disruption alert stating that Priadel tablets were due to be discontinued in the UK with remaining supplies of both strengths expected to be exhausted by April 2021. However, on 5th October 2020, the CMA launched an investigation under Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998 into a suspected breach of competition law by Essential Pharma. More information can be found on CMA’s investigation into supply of lithium-based medication case webpage.

DHSC requested that CMA impose ‘interim measures’ to pause the withdrawal of Priadel while the investigation is ongoing. As a result, Essential Pharma has informed DHSC that it will continue to supply the drug to facilitate discussions on pricing, removing the immediate threat to patients.

Clarification on the reimbursement arrangements relating to prescriptions for lithium carbonate 400mg modified release tablets can be found here.

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