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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 pharmacy sign imageJune 26 2018

Current supply shortages of diamorphine injection 5mg and 10mg could be resolved by September, Community Pharmacy Scotland has indicated.

Giving an update on the supply situation, CPS said that one of the two suppliers of the medicine to the UK market, Accord, has advised that it should be able to start supplies again in September. It has been working with the UK government following Accord’s supplier in Germany experiencing quality issues. Manufacturing should recommence soon, allowing supplies to return to the market at the end of the summer.

The other supplier, Wockhardt, has increased its production capacity to support the supply issue, but is unable to support the whole market demand. While primary care supplies are being ring-fenced, primary care professionals are being asked to order responsibly during this time, in line with historical demand, and not to stockpile to avoid lengthening the out of stock period.

Levels of the diamorphine 5mg and 10mg injections may be particularly low until June 28.

Availability of the injections is restricted via wholesalers: 

  • diamorphine 5mg and 10mg will only be available to order from Alliance;
  • morphine 10mg injection (Martindale) as the recommended alternative to diamorphine is available to order from AAH only.

Diamorphine 30mg, 100mg and 500mg for injection are unaffected by the supply issues and are available from the usual wholesalers.

Prescribers can be advised that, in addition to morphine as an alternative to diamorphine, “there should also be sufficient fentanyl and oxycodone injections to support this supply issue if clinician preference is for one of these two agents.”

CPS announcement      
Today’s Pharmacist earlier coverage of diamorphine supply issues         

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