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Sinemet availability

Date

The latest news on the Sinemet supply issue.

Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD) moved production of its Sinemet products to a new manufacturing site in Italy, to reduce supply issues.

As a result of this move some unavoidable manufacturing issues have occurred and an increased demand for some products has impacted Sinemet supply in the short term. 

However, these products are back in stock:

  • Sinemet CR 50mg/200mg 6x10 tablets
  • Sinemet 12.5mg/50mg 9x10 tablets
  • Sinemet 25mg/250mg 10x10 tablets

There are still some intermittent supply issues with Sinemet 10mg/100mg 10x10 tablets, Sinemet Plus 25mg/100mg 10x10 tablets and Sinemet half CR 25mg/100mg 6x10 tablets, which should be back in supply in October 2019.

All updates have been provided to us by MSD.

Will this affect me?

If you take Sinemet 10mg/100mg, Sinemet Plus 25mg/100mg or Sinemet half CR 25mg/100mg 6x10 tablets, your pharmacist may be unable to give you your full prescription.

However, there are generic versions of Co-careldopa, the active ingredient in Sinemet, available in a range of strengths.

Your GP or pharmacist can discuss this with you and should be able to offer you a suitable alternative.

Keeping you informed

We continue to receive regular updates from the company that manufactures Sinemet, letting us know about the supply issues and action they're taking to ensure Sinemet is available for people with Parkinson's across the UK.

We will continue to share further updates on Sinemet availability as we receive them.

A statement from MSD says:

"MSD in the UK is currently experiencing intermittent supply for some presentations of Sinemet as a result of unexpected capacity constraints at one of our partner manufacturing sites in 2018.

"MSD fully understands the difficulty this may cause to patients and customers.

"Patients who may be affected by this shortage should contact their healthcare professional or pharmacist to discuss their treatment options."

Brexit preparations

MSD have also shared their Brexit preparations with us.

"The current intermittent supply issues of some Sinemet presentations is not connected to Brexit. However ensuring continuity of supply for patients is our highest priority.

"We have put plans in place to make sure we are prepared for all Brexit scenarios, this includes:

  • re-routing of our supply chain
  • building a minimum of six weeks additional stock for medicines that enter the UK via Europe
  • working closely with partners across our supply and logistics chain to ensure those who support the manufacturing of our medicines in the UK have their own Brexit contingency plans in place 

"We are also in continuous dialogue with the Department of Health and Social Care and the relevant national healthcare and regulatory bodies to update them on any developments that might impact these plans.

"Unexpected delays can arise in complex manufacturing operations. MSD has a broad network of manufacturing facilities globally, and timely delivery of our medicines to patients and providers is always our key priority. However, we believe that the decisions we have implemented will help ensure that MSD's supply will not be negatively impacted once the UK formally leaves the EU."

Changes to 3 Sinemet products

MSD has taken action to stop this ongoing supply issue and has decided to move the manufacturing of 3 Sinemet products to another site, where they hope to provide a more consistent supply.

This means the look of these products will change, from round to oval. However, the tablets contain the same ingredients and should work as they do now. They will just look different.

The 3 products that will change their appearance from early May 2019 are below.

Presentation (co-careldopa)

Previous tablet appearance

Updated tablet appearance

Sinemet 10mg/100mg

Light blue round tablet marked 647, no score

Dark blue scored oval tablet marked 647

Sinemet 25mg/250mg

Light blue round tablet marked 654, no score

Dark blue scored oval tablet marked 654

Sinemet Plus 25mg/100mg

Yellow round tablet marked 650, no score

Yellow scored oval tablet marked 650

 

When will the tablets change?

These new look tablets will start to be used from early May 2019. However, some pharmacies may continue to dispense the round tablets until their supplies have been depleted.

This may mean you receive round tablets for some time from your usual pharmacy.

They are still OK to be taken.  

Updates to Sinemet availability

This story was originally published in September 2018. It has been updated since to reflect the changing availability of Sinemet.

It was last updated on 15 August 2019 to reflect that three products are stock, but there are still some intermittent supply issues with Sinemet 10mg/100mg, Sinemet Plus 25mg/100mg and Sinemet half CR 25mg/100mg.

Get support

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your medication, or if you're unable to obtain Sinemet, you can discuss this with your GP, consultant, pharmacist or Parkinson's nurse.

You can also contact our helpline on 0808 800 0303.