Medicines in short supply

Medicines in short supply

February 9, 2017

We have been alerted by one of our CCGs that pharmacies are unable to source supplies of travoprost (Travatan) eye drops via their usual wholesalers, and are referring patients back to their GP for a new prescription. This is creating some concern at practices because travoprost is initiated by consultants and leaves GPs in a difficult situation.

The LPC has checked availability and there are currently no stocks of UK or PI versions at any of the main wholesalers. Alcon do have stocks centrally that they will supply to pharmacies – this is accessed by completing a form available on the PSNC web page on manufacturer contingency arrangements.

The LPC suggests the following course of action:

  1. If you are unable to source travoprost or any other product via the usual wholesaler route, check PSNC manufacturer contingency arrangements
  2. If after exhausting all reasonable attempts to source the product  they are still unable to fulfill a prescription within the timescales required by a patient, contractors should firstly refer the patient to other pharmacies locally.
  3. Finally if this fails (an particularly in this specific case) then contractors should advise patients to contact the original prescriber – or as a last resort, their own GP.

We appreciate that having to contact manufacturers about individual products can take a considerable amount of time, however by following the above procedure this should ensure that patients can access their medicines appropriately in the majority of cases without having to refer them back to the prescriber.

You may also wish to report supply issues to PSNC by using the online form HERE.

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