Sanofi told C+D yesterday (October 26) that resupply is expected in “early November” and that the tablets became out of stock in mid-October.
The shortages are “due to a number of factors including high demand and issues with logistics,” Sanofi said.
“Concerned patients should speak to their pharmacist or physician. It is the prescribing physician’s clinical decision to switch medication, if appropriate for the patient,” the manufacturer added.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care, told C+D yesterday that it is “aware of a short-term supply issue” with Frisium 10mg tablets, but that “alternative preparations remain available”.
Frisium 10mg tablets contain the active ingredient clobazam, a benzodiazepine. Patients who are prescribed Frisium 10mg tablets should “speak to their GP” if they have any concerns, the DH added.
Last week (October 22), the Epilepsy Society issued a statement advising patients to contact their GP or epilepsy specialist about switching to a different version of clobazam.
It advised pharmacies to “contact their first line agent” – such as AAH or Phoenix – if they experience difficulties sourcing Firisum. Sanofi said pharmacies can also contact their customer service line for advice.
Last year (August 2019), C+D revealed that patients were stockpiling their epilepsy medicines as anxiety around supply shortages grew. Although many epilepsy medicines have generic equivalents, an expert told C+D that concerns around lack of consistency could cause increased anxiety for patients, triggering seizures.