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Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
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a green cross imageMay 31 2018

Pharmacies are being advised that there may be a potential shortage of diamorphine injection in the 5mg and 10mg strengths.

Following advice from the Department of Health and Social Care, Community Pharmacy Scotland has said that a shortage is possible due to production problems at facilities of one of the two UK companies supplying diamorphine injection. 

Patients who are prescribed higher strength doses of diamorphine, 30mg, 100mg and 500mg are not affected as there is adequate supply for these doses.

“Based on current usage, there is the potential for supplies of diamorphine 5mg and 10mg injection to be depleted around the week commencing 4th June 2018 and for there to be a gap in supply until the 28th June 2018,” said CPS.

In addition, it has said that the NHS advice is:

  • to order responsibly during this time, in line with historical demand, and not to stockpile to avoid lengthening the out-of-stock period;
  • the recommended alternative is morphine injection, with morphine 10mg injection able to cover the diamorphine supply issue in June; again, only order extra stock of morphine as diamorphine injection becomes unavailable locally and do not stock pile.

The manufacturing problem is affecting a site in Germany, used by Accord. Supplies from Wockhardt are not affected, but it is unable to produce extra stocks of the drug at short notice.

Links:
CPS announcement      
Advice for patients (via CPS site)            

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