Medicine Supply Notification: Mesalazine (Asacol® ) 400mg MR gastro-resistant tablets

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued a medicine supply notification for Mesalazine (Asacol®) 400mg MR gastro-resistant tablets

MSN/2024/048

Tier 2 – medium impact

Date of issue 25th April 2024

  • Asacol® 400mg MR gastro-resistant tablets (pack size 168) was discontinued in March 2024; all stocks have now been exhausted.
  • Asacol® 400mg MR gastro-resistant tablets (pack size 84) was discontinued from 1st April 2024; stocks are expected to be exhausted from late April 2024.
  • Mesalazine (Octasa® MR) 400mg tablets remain available and can support a full uplift in demand.
  • Mesalazine (Asacol®) 800mg MR gastro-resistant tablets remain available and able to support a full uplift in demand.
  • Other mesalazine tablet preparations, with different release characteristics, remain available should above options not be considered suitable.
  • Unlicensed imports of mesalazine (Asacol®) 400mg MR gastro-resistant tablets can be sourced, lead times vary.

Unlicensed products

The following specialist importers have confirmed they can source unlicensed Asacol® 400mg MR gastro-resistant tablets (please note there may be other companies that can also source supplies):

If there is currently no listing on dm+d for the imported product for prescribers to select using their prescribing systems an EPS prescription for the unlicensed product cannot be issued. Where a prescriber wishes to prescribe a specially manufactured or imported product, an FP10 paper prescription should be issued as ‘Asacol® 400mg MR gastro-resistant tablets (Special Order)’ and endorsed by the pharmacy as a non-Part VIIIB special with the following information:

  • Amount dispensed over pack size used;
  • Invoice price per pack size from which the order was supplied less any discount or rebate;
  • Manufacturers’/importers’ MHRA licence number;
  • Batch number of the product supplied;
  • SP

A copy of this medicine supply notification, including further information, has been sent to all pharmacy NHS email addresses.

DHSC and NHSE/I have now launched an online Medicines Supply Tool, which provides up to date information about medicine supply issues. The contents of these MSNs can now be viewed on the Tool.

The Tool also details any changes to resupply dates and updates to the entries.

To access the Tool you will need  an NHS email address. Once set up and logged in, you will be able to access it online.

New shortages not listed on the SPS website, can be reported using our shortage reporting tool.

Support the call for more funding by recording information about the informal advice you provide to patients over just one day.

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