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Important message about blood test tube shortages

The following statement (issued 2.9.21) is from consultant pharmacist and PHA UK associate Dr Neil Hamilton:

“You may have heard that there is an issue with vacutainers (blood test tubes). This is affecting everyone prescribed an endothelin receptor antagonist (ambrisentan, bosentan or macitentan) who needs to have regular liver function and full blood count tests.

I can confirm that there is a global shortage which is expected to be temporary but as things stand I don’t have an exact date when things will be back to normal.

If you already have a kit, and your GP or phlebotomy clinic is accepting bookings, you can carry on as normal. However, I am aware that some GPs and local phlebotomy clinics are cancelling appointments unless the blood tests are very urgent. Routine bloods for our patients are not usually critically urgent, so your appointments can wait until the tubes are freely available again (unless your centre individually tells you differently).

I will give another update at the end of September when I hope I will have a better idea of dates for supplies returning to normal. As always, please contact your PH centre if you have any further questions.”

Dr Neil Hamilton