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Drugs Shortage: Continuing shortage of Visudyne (verteporfin)

22 July 2021

The College has been made aware that the manufacturers of Visudyne (verteporfin) are experiencing significant production delays and new stocks of Visudyne will not be available for the UK market until early 2022. Due to the low volume of circulating stock of Visudyne in the UK the Department of Health and Social Care has made the decision to divert remaining stock to the national ophthalmic oncology centres.

Read the Medicine Supply Notification: Visudyne® (verteporfin)

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As a consequence of this supply shortage, numerous patients with medical retina conditions, such as central serous retinopathy may experience a significant delay in their definitive treatment. We ask that members counsel all their patients who are affected by this shortage and capture any harm to these patients within your organisations governance framework. We also advise members to consider adding this issue to their risk registers.

The College recognises the impending dilemma that will be faced by colleagues and is keen to support members should they experience any challenges.

Support for members with drugs shortages

We work with the UK Ophthalmic Pharmacy Group to update members on drug shortages. These can take place for a range of reasons including shortages of raw materials/plant failure/imbalance between supply and demand.

Guidance from industry and Department of Health recommends companies inform the Department about impending shortages which are likely to have an impact on patient care.

Read more about drugs shortages here.

Patients and drugs shortages

Information about these shortages is not intended for patients. If are a patient and are worried about how this drugs shortage may impact on you, then speak to your consultant, pharmacist or other medical professional about finding alternative medication.

Read helpful information for patients and members of the public dealing with disease, conditions, treatment and health of the eye.

More information

If you have any further queries regarding this alert please contact Jonathan Baker, Quality improvement Manager: [email protected]

From: Colin Vize, Chair of the RCOphth Quality and Safety Group