Emerade 500mcg device is out of stock until August 28, and while limited stocks of Emerade 300mcg remain, it is expected to go out of stock from early-to-mid August, the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) said in a supply disruption notice yesterday (August 1).
New supplies of the 300mcg device are expected “by the end of September”, it added.
Shortages of the devices, manufactured by Bausch & Lomb UK, have been caused by manufacturing issues at its Swedish partner company, “which has led to a temporary decrease in output”, the DH said.
All three strengths of the Emerade devices, were last month found to have a 0.23% risk of “failing to deliver a dose of adrenaline from the syringe due to blockage of the needle”, although no auto-injectors were recalled.
New stocks of Emerade manufactured after June 30 “incorporate all corrective actions” to “rectify the potential for blocked needles”, the DH said in its latest alert.
For further information about the shortages, pharmacists can refer to the full supply disruption alert, which also includes a management plan.
The two alternative auto-injector devices available in the UK are EpiPen – supplied by Mylan – and Jext – supplied by ALK. However, neither is available in the 500mcg strength, only 300mcg.
“The advice from national experts is, in the absence of Emerade 500mcg, affected patients should be prescribed 300mcg auto-injectors and advised to keep at least two pens on them at all times,” the DH said.
As supplies of Jext 300mcg are “unlikely to be sufficient to support a significant switch to this product”, EpiPen should be considered as the “first line alternative”, the DH advised.
Supplies of 150mcg devices from all manufacturers remain unaffected and available in volumes to support normal demand, the DH said.