Shortage of sinemet plus


#1
My pharmacist in Oxford says that the manufacturers of Sinemet plus are out of stock. I have about 2 weeks of tablets. Should I be worried?

#2
Hi jhc, sorry to hear that you're having problems getting hold of the drugs you need. We keep in close contact with Merck (the company that manufactures Sinemet) and they tell us that there are no shortages.

They tell us that pharmacists should ring customer services enquiries on 01992 452094 to arrange deliveries of stock if they have run out.

We'll let you know if we hear anything else.

In the meantime, if you're worried about this or any other issues related to Parkinson's please do call our helpline on 0808 800 0303 or speak to your consultant or Parkinson's nurse.

#3
Hi JHC there is no supply problem what it is the Pharmacy have been given a supply of drugs for a period of time eg 1 month say and when they run out if the month is not up they have to wait for the next supply. What they should have done is tell you to try else were for your supply or asked the company for an emergency supply . I have often had this problem with Rasigiline as it is an expensive drug and they have limited stock supplied, if I am unlucky and they have no supply at my pharmacy i ring round the other pharmacy;s or call my PD nurse or us the numbers supplied in the last post above. so if this happens again just ask for your script back and try other pharmacies. good luck:grin:

#4
My pharmacist is also having trouble completing my prescritpion of sinemet

#5
On a something like Sinemet the chemists out of stock problems, is in the main not caused by the Supplier or Supply Chain.

I spent 30 years working in retail Supply Chain Management, this included being in charge of a huge global non food supply twice the size of the NHS.

I would be a rich man now if i had a pound for every time a shop manager, who was out of stock of a product and faced by a dissatisfied customer: Would without hesitation blame the Supplier or Supply Chain for the problem.

The shop manager may well of been right, if they had sold out of something like Titanic DVD on the day of release, with sales recorded at 4,000% above forecast!

However when it Is an established product line (such as sinemet is), then 99% of the time, it was the shop manager who was at fault and not the supplier!


Regards
bluey

#6
Combined with a lack of forethought as Blue-eyes has described is the fact that supplies are deliberately limited to the chemists to prevent unscrupulous chemist from selling drugs abroad thus creating artificial shortages of which there have been at least two in the last three or four years. MMy chemist (a well known chain) gave me back my prescription so that I could try somewhere different and when I went to a small independent chemist they had penty

#7
I agree with you Eileenpatricia.

This is what high street multiples refer to as..... profit opportunity.

I prefer to call it..... customer profiling to maximise profit opportunity.

Multiple chemist chains make far more profit buying in bulk medicine stocks at low prices via UK suppliers/wholesalers. Medicines intended for NHS patients, but instead feeding as much of that stock into more profitable customer channels, the main one being selling it overseas.

This is another example our great NHS institution being exploited in free market trading, and will only get worse in the coming years.

I also get my sinemet via a small local village chemist and not once in 8 years have they been out of stock.

#8
Thanks everybody for all the helpful posts. The pharmacist is getting my GP to approve an alternative for the next week although they still claim it's a manufacturer's shortage.
Pharmacy assistants on the 'phone often don't appreciate that we can't just stop our tablets and wait and that when we go on holiday we need a reserve in case for instance there's another volcanic dust cloud incident.
I also split my tablets when on holiday into two sets in case one goes missing.

Out of interest how long a supply do most people ask for from their repeat prescriptions?

I've been on 30 days at a time because my consultant initially was changing my tablets quite frequently but after my next outpatients I may go for longer if there's no shelf life problems.

#9
Hi everyone

Although this doesn't answer your questions jhc, we have posted a news story today about the changes to the appearance of Sinemet - http://t.co/dWVhKybz

The change should help to ease pressure on the current manufacturing facility. This means there should be a gradual improvement in stock amounts of Sinemet in the next 12 to 18 months time.

This should reduce the problems some pharmacies have had in getting the medication.

Although this won't instantly solve the situation, we hope it's a step in the right direction.

Best wishes
Dave
Digital team

#10
Hi JHC,

You've had lots of good advice about alternative suppliers (isn't the forum a blessing?). I'd just like to add on a couple of personal inputs:
With my GP's approval, I have a repeat prescription for about 60 days' worth of meds, and I try to get the next prescription filled with about 3 weeks' supply remaining.

I recommend care in accepting "alternatives" too readily, because some generics seem to be much less effective than the proprietary, prescribed medication.

I am taking Mirapexin, and have been told by my pharmacy that there is a "manufacturing problem" preventing them from fulfilling the prescription - I've given them one week to sort it out or lose my business.
Best wishes from Haltonapp.

#11
As of 17th September, the Boots pharmacy in Bingham, Notts, has been having problems getting Sinemet plus for over a week now. I hope this is not the old problem starting up again.

#12
Well whatever it is there is definitely some sort of a problem. My pharmacist has been trying to get my subscription of sinemet for three weeks now.

#13
I am able to swap from Sinemet plus to CoCareldopa without problem. Using that flexibility my Coop pharmacy has always been able to give me one or other without fail in 3 years or so.
My last prescription was a little odd - I got MSD sinemet plus overstickered as 'CoCareldopa'. The stickers cover the back of the blister packs and although they have been cut to allow the tablets to be pushed out its easier to peel the sticker off before using the pack.
I get 60 days supply at a time and always try to get resupply with at least a week in hand.
When travelling I always try to carry two days supply in a trouser pocket with the remainder split between hand luggage and any other bag I might have with me.

EF

#14
Hi
Just to let you know co-caroldopa is a cheaper brand than sinemet plus but has the same effect not less effective but sold cheaper, and the pharmacy can give you that but it must be written co-caroldopa by your GP, so the pharmacy would prefer to have sinemet plus prescribed as it is more money in there pocket to supply this,and if they can get you to wait for your script then they will but what the pharmacy should do is ask the GP to prescribe the drug in generic form ie co-caroldopa if they have no sinemet plus in stock. Bad pharmacy or you could ask for the prescription back and check if they have a stock of co-caroldopa and then get your GP to change the prescription . Problem solved!! I think or am I wrong ??

#15
All useful info thank you ...but I get anxious

#16
I've never had anything other than co-caroldopa. Now I feel as though I've been cheaped out on. The greedy, money grasping, explatives.

I'll use that excuse next time I'm in at my local pharmacy.

"I cant pay for this trolley load of Matey. There is a global shortage of money. Could you pass me over some chuppa chups, just add them to my balance".

My pharmasist is very tactful. I asked if they had any nose strips, she came back with one box then asked "small or large?". She had of course chosen correctly, the cheeky explative.

#17
HI
I've had both Madopar (co-caraldopa) and Sinemet 62.5. ALthough they both control the symtoms and are supposed to have the same ingredients, madopar made my depression worse. so although it is the cheaper generic, I won't take it.

#18
My partner has Sinemet Plus and gets them direct from his GP's dispensary and they can't get them either. They have Co-Careldopa and his PD nurse, whom I phoned, said she had had lots of phone calls from all over the area regarding the problem with Sinemet Plus. He's going to have the C-C as he has nearly run out of the Sinemet.

#19
The worst thing about these sinemet shortages, is the seeming lack of transparency as to the cause and the inability of anyone, including the manufacturers, as to the length of time it will last. I really don't want to have to try using alternative medication that has taken a long time getting the doses right if in a couple more weeks it will get sorted. If we know it will take several weeks/ months/then at least one knows one has to make alternative arrangements.

My pharmacist tells me all the relevant phone calls have been made to no avail and there are other local pharmacists in the same boat. Without knowing the unknown one can't make rational choices.

#20
Yipee! I don't need to know the unknown. Got medicine. I have to say the pharmacist(s) were incredibly helpful and patient.