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Difficulty obtaining Degarelix

Posted 01 Oct 2019 at 15:55


Has anyone else been experiencing difficulties obtaining Degarelix? My husband has this injection every 4 weeks but I’m having a nightmare sourcing it from a pharmacy. I keep being told different reasons/excuses.....

Poor man has just finished his 6th round of Chemo, we could really do without this stress and wondered if it was a problem anyone else had encountered?

Thank you for reading. 

Posted 01 Oct 2019 at 20:27
It is listed on the NHS website as in shortage, and it is also a problem in the USA so may be a production issue. You could give the onco secretary or specialist nurse a ring to see whether the prescription could be changed to Prostap or Zoladex although ther3 May be a specific reason why he was prescribed degarelix in the first place.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 03 Oct 2019 at 11:34

I notice medroxyprogesterone which some men take for hot flushes (although is more commonly used by women as "the pill") is one of the 24 drugs in short supply which the government has banned the export of.

Posted 11 Oct 2019 at 16:35

I spoke with a pharmacist today about drug shortages and she explained some things about the drug shortages.

The drug wholesalers don't have a warehouse in each country as people might imagine - they each have a single distributed warehouse across the EU. Some drugs are kept in some warehouses, and others in other warehouses. When your chemist orders something they don't have, it arrives next day (and sometimes same day), but may well have come across the channel. There's a continuous flow between the warehouses and pharmacies, a large amount across borders.

When the government suddenly prevents export of a drug (such as medroxyprogesterone, as they did a couple of weeks ago), that completely screws up the distribution of that drug across the EU, because if they happened to be storing it in the UK, they can't get it to pharmacies outside the UK anymore. To avoid this, they stop storing such drugs in the UK where they will get stuck, and then supply all UK requests from foreign warehouses. Actually, they've stopped storing lots of drugs in the UK in anticipation of more export bans, and because of not knowing if they will be able to move stock without incurring import duties going across the channel.

The drop in the pound has a significant impact because the NHS agrees to pay a certain amount for each drug, and when the pound falls, the suppliers get less for supplying to the UK than supplying to the Eurozone countries, so when stocks are limited, they go to Eurozone countries who are effectively paying more. The NHS has a process for renegotiating prices when this happens, but as you might expect, it doesn't happen quickly.

Pharmacists are getting the odd packet of medroxyprogesterone in, but can't satisfy requirements, not helped by no one holding any stock in the UK anymore.

Alprostadil has a significant shortage issue too:
Muse unavailable with no info on when it will reappear.
Caverinject: 10ug only can be obtained.
Viridal: 10ug and 40ug available.
Vitaros: unavailable.

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