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Guanfacine ADHD medication ‘out of stock’ until May

The DH has announced that a medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is out of stock until next month amid ongoing shortages of drugs to treat the condition.

Guanfacine (Intuniv) 2mg and 3mg modified-release (MR) tablets are “out of stock until the week commencing May 6”, according to a Department of Health and Social Care (DH) medicine supply notification announced by Community Pharmacy England (CPE) last week (March 28).

CPE said that guanfacine 1mg and 4mg MR tablets “remain available but cannot support increased demand”.

“Switching patients to alternative strengths” of the tablets to make up doses “will prolong the supply disruptions”, it added.

Read more: Pharmacies field calls from 'anxious' patients as ADHD med shortages persist

The affected ADHD medications are not subject to serious shortage protocols (SSPs) as of April 2024.

CPE said that “unlicensed” supplies of guanfacine MR tablets have been sourced but lead times “vary”.

It added that the specialist importers that have confirmed they can source unlicensed Intuniv 2mg and 3mg MR tablets include:

  • Alium (1-2 weeks lead time)
  • Chemys (2 weeks lead time)
  • Durbin (2 weeks lead time)
  • Smartway Pharma (1-2 days lead time)
  • Target Healthcare (1-2 days lead time)

Read more: DH and MHRA ban wholesalers from hoarding or exporting five ADHD drugs

CPE said that if there is currently no listing on dm+d for the imported product, prescribers cannot issue an EPS prescription for the unlicensed product.

It added that to prescribe a specially manufactured or imported product, they should issue an FP10 paper prescription as “Intuniv® 2mg or 3mg modified-release tablets (Special Order)”.

It said that pharmacies should endorse this as a non-Part VIIIB special with the following information:

  • Amount dispensed over pack size used
  • Invoice price per pack size from which the order was supplied less any discount or rebate
  • Manufacturers’/importers’ MHRA licence number
  • Batch number of the product supplied
  • SP

Read more: Manufacturing issues behind ‘safety critical’ ADHD drug shortage, DH warns

In December, pharmacy teams reacted with dismay after a charity revealed that supply issues for ADHD medication from manufacturer Takeda were expected to continue until April 2024.

In October, the DH added five ADHD medications to the list of drugs that wholesalers are prevented from exporting or hoarding: methylphenidate hydrochloride, atomoxetine, lisdexamfetamine mesylate, dexamfetamine sulfate, and guanfacine.

And in September, the government issued a patient safety alert warning of “supply disruptions” to a number of medications of various strengths.

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