The first seven batches are expected to be in circulation this week. Further batches will be released over the coming months to address the increase in demand (Photo: iStock).

Pharmaceutical giant Chiesi today said its Clenil Modulite 100 microgram pressurised metered dose inhalers are expected to face intermittent supply problems over the next month.

Chiesi has appealed to all healthcare professionals involved in prescribing their range of products to help them maintain supply by not writing multiple prescriptions for the product until such time as the acute pressures begin to ease.

“At this point in time our only supply issue is with Clenil Modulite 100mcg pressurised metered dose inhalers and as a result of a delay in material supply we cannot guarantee uninterrupted supply of this product over the next month,” the firm said in a statement

Chiesi added that other strengths of Clenil Modulite pressurised metered dose inhalers available as 50mcg or 200mcg may be used if clinically appropriate as an alternative to the 100mcg strength.

LPCs and contractors have reported several instances of prescribers extending prescription duration.

Following discussions with Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) regarding this, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have issued strong guidance discouraging such changes to prescribing duration as this has a negative impact on the supply chain.

Dr Nikki Kanani, medical director for primary care at  NHSE&I, in a letter to general practices, said: “Practices should not change their repeat prescription durations or support patients trying to stockpile: these actions may put a strain on the supply chain and exacerbate any potential shortages.

“Practices should consider putting all suitable patients on electronic repeat dispensing as soon as possible. The whole repeatable prescription can be valid for a year but each repeat should be for no longer than the patient has now. For example, if the patient has prescriptions for a month’s supply now then the repeat dispensing should be set up as 13 x 28 days’ supply.”

PSNC advised pharmacists to raise the issue with their LPC if they observe that this guidance is not being followed locally. Pharmacies have also been asked not to support any patients trying to stockpile.

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