Lady taking medication

Manufacturing capacity causes shortage of Sinemet


Parkinson's UK has been made aware by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD) that there is currently a supply issue with some of their Sinemet products in the UK and other countries.

MSD has informed us that this has been caused by current manufacturing capacity constraints, and that the following Sinemet products are expected to sometimes be unavailable:

  • Sinemet 12.5/50mg 9x10 tablets
  • Sinemet 25/250mg 10x10 tablets
  • Sinemet plus 25/100mg 10x10 tablets       

MSD expects that the most commonly used Sinemet 12.5/50mg 9x10 tablets will have supply issues from now until Mid-September. We are aware that there is currently a delivery of Sinemet on the way into the country, hopefully due to be available next week.

Sinemet 25/250mg 10x10 tablets will sometimes be unavailable from end of September and will continue to have supply issues until the first quarter of next year.

Sinemet plus 25/100mg 10x10 tablets will sometimes be unavailable from end of October and will continue to have supply issues until the first quarter of next year.

We are aware this is a constantly changing situation and MSD are making every effort to resolve the issue. We will update you immediately if any change happens.

Will this affect me?

If you are currently taking Sinemet, there is a chance that your Pharmacist will be unable to give you your prescription. There are generic versions of Co-careldopa, the active ingredient in Sinemet, available in a range of strengths. Your GP or Pharmacist will discuss these with you and should be able to offer you a suitable alternative.

A statement from MSD says:

"MSD is committed to ensuring the continuity of supply of our medicines and vaccines – however delays in manufacture and production that we cannot always foresee can unexpectedly happen. Please be reassured that we are doing all that we reasonably can to ensure that normal supply is resumed as soon as possible and are working closely with key stakeholders including Parkinson's UK, and other professional bodies and agencies to keep them updated.

"We recognise the impact this will have on Parkinson's patients, their carers and the wider medical community and we regret that this situation has arisen."

The Department of Health and Social care says:

"Sinemet is a branded medicine manufactured by MSD. Sinemet contains the active drug carbidopa/levodopa also known as co-careldopa. Co-careldopa is manufactured by MSD as the branded product Sinemet, but there are also several other generic suppliers who market the generic drug co-careldopa.

"Generic manufacturers will be supplying co-careldopa in all strengths during the time when Sinemet is unavailable. Patients should speak to their clinician as soon as possible if they cannot obtain Sinemet."   

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your medication or if you are unable to obtain Sinemet products, you can discuss this with your GP, Consultant, Pharmacist or Parkinson’s nurse. You can also contact our helpline on 0808 800 0303.

Check for updates from MSD on the availability of Sinemet in the UK.

This story have been updated on Wednesday 3 October 2018 after further advice from the Department of Health and Social care

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