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DH: Ranitidine expected to be out of stock ‘until further notice’

Ranitidine is under regulatory investigation for the potential contamination with a carcinogen
Ranitidine is under regulatory investigation for the potential contamination with a carcinogen

Ranitidine film-coated tablets, effervescent tablets and oral solution continue to be unavailable, while the 50mg/2ml injection is expected to be out of stock from the end of May.

A supply notification issued by the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) last week (May 7), indicated that ranitidine 50mg/2ml injection is “anticipated to be unavailable from the end of May 2020 until further notice”.

Ranitidine film-coated tablets, effervescent tablets and oral solution “continue to remain unavailable with no date for resupply,” according to the notice.

Last month (April 30), the European Medicines Agency (EMA)'s human medicines committee recommended the suspension of all ranitidine formulas due to the presence of low levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a risk factor for some cancers.

A Medicines and Healthcare products Regulator Agency (MHRA) spokesperson said this concludes the investigation into the medicine, and directed pharmacists towards DH advice on switching patients to alternatives.

The drug was subject to recall and quarantine last October, although the MHRA stressed at the time that there was “no evidence that medicines containing nitrosamines have caused any harm to patients”.

Concerned about how your patients will be affected by the ranitidine recall? Read C+D's CPD article to refresh your knowledge of assessing and advising patients who take this medication.

3 Comments
Question: 
What impact has the ranitidine supply disruption had on your patients?

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Ranitidine has been in short supply and under a price adjustment for months, yet the GPs keep prescribing it!

Mikin Patel, Pre-reg Pharmacist

This will definitely pose a challenge this time round, as Famotidine and Nizatidine are also in short supply. Interestingly Famotidine is in short supply, probably due to a trial being conducted on COVID-19: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.01.20086694v1

And with even more drug shortages than before, defninitely a time for GPhC and RPS to review what pharmacists can/cannot amend on prescriptions.

Mikin Patel, Pre-reg Pharmacist

This will definitely pose a challenge this time round, as Famotidine and Nizatidine are also in short supply. Interestingly Famotidine is in short supply, probably due to a trial being conducted on COVID-19: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.01.20086694v1

And with even more drug shortages than before, defninitely a time for GPhC and RPS to review what pharmacists can/cannot amend on prescriptions. 

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