The Department for Health and Social Care has issued a serious shortage protocol for anti-diabetes medicine Competact with immediate effect.
SSP011 allows community pharmacists in England, Wales and Scotland to substitute a combination of one generic pioglitazone tablet and one metformin tablet for every competact tablet that has been prescribed.
The NHS advised pharmacists: “Switching the preparation of the drug (including different manufacturer) requires caution in certain patients who are considered at risk of deterioration due to their belief that the exact preparation (including different manufacturer) of the drug is critical to their response.
“Patients considered unstable or at higher risk need to be referred back to their prescriber promptly for further advice.”
The SSP is currently due to expire on May 7, though this may be brought forward or extended depending on when the supply issues around Competact are resolved.