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Alert: UK Faces Shortage Of Arthritis Drug Erelzi 50mg Pre-Filled Pen


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All affected healthcare providers have been cautioned against initiating any new patient on Erelzi products until supply issues are resolved

Hospitals and healthcare providers across the UK have been notified about the shortage of an anti-inflammatory medicine caused by a manufacturing failure.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on Friday (3 May) issued a National Patient Safety Alert stating that Erelzi 50mg solution for injection in pre-filled pen will be out of stock from early May until mid-July 2024.

“The supply issues have been caused by a manufacturing failure resulting in delays in production and the implementation of global allocations,” it said.

However, it noted that homecare providers (Alcura, Healthnet and Sciensus) have sufficient stock to supply existing patients until mid/late May 2024.

Although Erelzi 50mg pre-filled syringes (PFS) are still available, they cannot support a full increase in demand, the DHSC warned.

Homecare providers are encouraged to assist patients in transitioning from Erelzi 50mg pre-filled pens to Erelzi 50mg pre-filled syringes during the shortage period, with a plan to revert to the original product once the shortage is resolved.

All healthcare providers involved in prescribing, dispensing, and administering Erelzi are also informed that Benepali (etanercept) 50mg and Enbrel (etanercept) 50mg pre-filled pen injections are still accessible and can adequately meet any sustained increase in demand.

However, all affected healthcare providers have been cautioned against initiating any new patient on Erelzi (etanercept) products until supply issues are resolved.

Erelzi contains the active substance etanercept and is one of three licensed biosimilars to Enbrel. It is indicated for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, plaque psoriasis, and paediatric plaque psoriasis. These products are available as a pre-filled pen or a pre-filled syringe.

The DHSC cautioned that Erelzi 50mg pre-filled syringes may not be suitable for patients with arthritis or problems with manual dexterity.





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