Supply and reimbursement of unlicensed Warticon 0.15% cream – Updated

Supply and reimbursement of unlicensed Warticon 0.15% cream – Updated

June 23, 2020

Update 23/06/2020

Phoenix Labs have advised that the licensed Warticon 0.15% cream is now back in stock and available via Alliance and AAH


February 2019

PSNC has become aware that the licensed Warticon 0.15% Cream (Podophyllotoxin 0.15% cream) manufactured by Phoenix Labs is currently unavailable. Phoenix Labs have advised that they are experiencing some regulatory and manufacturing issues in respect of the licensed Warticon cream 0.15%Phoenix Labs anticipate the shortage could last up to a year.  

To help meet patient need, the product has been made available as an imported medicine through Huddersfield Pharmacy Specials (HPS). The unlicensed Warticon cream can be ordered by contacting the HPS order line on 01484 355388 or by email on There are not expected to be any visible differences to the unlicensed product packaging and will still contain a mirror, however pharmacy teams should note the product will have a reduced shelf-life.  

Pharmacy teams that receive an NHS prescription for generic Podophyllotoxin 0.15% cream or the brand Warticon 0.15% cream but unable to obtain and dispense any licensed stock should contact the prescriber for an alternativeIf the prescriber wishes to consider the unlicensed preparation, the prescription will need to be amended to read: Podophyllotoxin 0.15% cream (Special Order) or Warticon 0.15% cream (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 Warticon 0.15% cream (Special Order), the contractor will be reimbursed for dispensing the unlicensed product. If the prescription does not indicate Special Order or similar, then the contractor will only be reimbursed the list price for the licensed 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. 

The DHSC Medicine Supply Team provide a monthly update on potential supply issues affecting both primary and secondary care. This update is uploaded on the Specialist Pharmacy Services (SPS) website. To register, you will need  an NHS email address. Once set up and logged in, you will be able to access it online.

New shortages not listed on the SPS website, can be reported using our shortage reporting tool.

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