Shortage Notice: Pethidine 50mg tablets

Shortage Notice: Pethidine 50mg tablets

November 15, 2019

Issued: 14 November 2019

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have advised that Pethidine 50mg tablets will be out of stock until early December 2019. Teva and Martindale are out of stock of pethidine 50mg tablets There are no alternative suppliers. Teva anticipate resupply week commencing 2nd December 2019 and Martindale in mid-December 2019. Unlicensed pethidine 50mg capsules are available from Martindale.

Action required: 

Patients with insufficient supplies of pethidine 50mg tablets should be reviewed by a clinician to assess ongoing need. Where necessary, clinicians may wish to obtain specialist advice, from local pain teams or substance misuse teams, on alternative agents/or weaning. For patients who require a supply of pethidine 50mg tablets, prescribers may consider prescribing the unlicensed 50mg capsules.

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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