Shortage Notice: Synphase (Ethinylestradiol and Norethisterone) tablets – Update

Shortage Notice: Synphase (Ethinylestradiol and Norethisterone) tablets – Update

January 17, 2020

Update (17/01/2020): resupply date now expected end January 2020

First published 15th November 2019

Issued: 14 November 2019

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have advised that Synphase tablets are out of stock until 20 December 2019. Other brands of phasic oral contraceptive tablets remain available during this period.

Action required: 

For patients without sufficient supplies of Synphase® tablets to last until the resolution date, prescribers may:

  • consider prescribing an alternative phasic oral contraceptive (listed below);
    • Logynon® tablets
    • Logynon ED® tablets
    • TriRegol® tablets
  • consider prescribing a non-phasic oral contraceptive; or
  • consider prescribing an unlicensed import of Synphase® tablets (see supporting information below).

Clinicians (both prescribing and dispensing) should counsel patients regarding the different brand and dosing regimen prescribed, where appropriate.

For further information on the constituents of phasic oral contraceptives, see the table below:

Please see the alert for further information.

Pharmacy team are reminded that where a prescriber wishes you to dispense an import, prescriptions must be annotated ‘specials/unlicensed import’.

A prescription calling for the unlicensed product should be endorsed as follows:

  • Quantity dispensed
  • Pack size
  • Price per unit less any discount/rebate
  • Manufacturer/importer MHRA license number
  • Batch number
  • Specials procurement fee endorsement of ‘SP’

As a reminder, all prescriptions for unlicensed medicines should be placed in the red separators for the end of month submission.

See our factsheet for further guidance on endorsing unlicensed specials and imports.

For more information on medicines shortages, click here.

To report a medicine shortage, click here.

If you have any queries, please contact

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