Shortage of Physeptone 5mg tablets (Methadone 5mg tablets)

Shortage of Physeptone 5mg tablets (Methadone 5mg tablets)

August 9, 2019

PSNC has become aware that the licensed Physeptone 5mg tablets (Methadone 5mg tablets) manufactured by Ethypharm are currently unavailable. Ethypharm has advised that they are experiencing some packaging issues in respect of the licensed Physeptone 5mg tablets. Ethypharm anticipate the shortage could last to the end of August 2019.

To help meet patient need, an alternative formulation of an unlicensed product is now available – Methadone 5mg capsules (50) product code P034663 which can be ordered direct from Ethypharm by calling telephone number 0800 137 627. Ethypharm have advised the cost is £5.12 for 50 and no delivery charges apply to orders placed for this line. Pharmacies may need to open an account but orders are being prioritised with a same day turnaround. We understand the unlicensed product will have a 90-day shelf life from the date of manufacture.

Pharmacy teams that receive an NHS prescription for generic ‘Methadone 5mg tablets’ or the brand ‘Physeptone 5mg tablets’ but are unable to obtain and dispense any licensed stock should contact the prescriber to discuss other alternatives. If the prescriber wishes for the patient to be supplied the unlicensed preparation from Ethypharm, a new prescription will need to be issued for the following: ‘Methadone 5mg capsules (Special Order)’ .

Contractors will be reimbursed for what is ordered on the prescription. If the prescription indicates that it is for an unlicensed special for example ‘Methadone 5mg capsules (Special Order)’, the contractor will be reimbursed for dispensing the unlicensed product.

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.

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