Medicine Supply Notification: Pilocarpine hydrochloride 4% eye drops

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued a medicine supply notification for Pilocarpine hydrochloride 4% eye drops.


Tier 2 – medium impact

Date of issue 21st December 2022

  • Pilocarpine 4% eye drops are out of stock until w/c 26th December 2022
  • Alternative strengths of pilocarpine (1% and 2%) eye drops remain available and will be able to support increased demand.
  • Specials of pilocarpine 4% preservative free eye drops are available if the licensed alternatives are not suitable.
  • For off-label use of the 4% drops in the treatment of xerostomia (dry mouth) in palliative care, pilocarpine 5mg tablets are available and are licensed for this indication.

The following Specials manufacturers have confirmed they can currently manufacturer pilocarpine 4% preservative free eye drops (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 unlicensed pilocarpine 4% preservative free eye drops cannot be issued. Where a prescriber wishes to prescribe a specially manufactured product, an FP10 paper prescription should be issued as ‘pilocarpine 4% preservative free eye drops (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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