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CADD Solis Flowstop cassette supplies for patients prescribed intravenous epoprostenol

Thursday 12th May 2022

“We are still waiting for UK stocks to be fully replenished, but it is encouraging that we have seen some deliveries to homecare companies yesterday and I am hopeful that these will continue over coming weeks.”

Neil Hamilton, Consultant Pharmacist in Pulmonary Hypertension

This is a further update on a supply issue affecting CADD Solis Flowstop cassettes, which are used by around 100 UK pulmonary hypertension patients prescribed intravenous epoprostenol.

The cassettes must be imported from the USA and the manufacturers have encountered logistical problems that have made it difficult to transport them over here.  

Currently, there is adequate stock within specialist centres for patients in hospital. The homecare delivery companies (who deliver cassettes) also have some stock available, and this week, they took receipt of supplies to cover an additional two weeks.

This is a welcome reinforcement of stock levels, and we are optimistic there may be a further delivery to the UK in the coming days.

What does this evolving situation mean for you?

Until it is clear the supply issue has been resolved, to limit the chances of supplies running out, homecare providers will still be sending out two-week supplies rather than four-week supplies.

You should always hold an additional ‘buffer’ supply of two weeks at home. The additional supplies that have recently arrived in the UK for distribution via homecare delivery services eases the situation further.

We are doing our best to find out when supply might return to normal. We do need to be honest and tell you that if the manufacturers cannot rectify the issue in time, there is still a chance (although now lesser) that those who use these cassettes may need to be admitted to hospital to receive their medication by other methods.

This is very much a ‘worst case’ scenario, but when we initially communicated this last week, we felt it important to be upfront to enable you to start considering any implications based on your individual circumstances.

We are still waiting for UK stocks to be fully replenished, but it is encouraging that we have seen some deliveries to homecare companies yesterday and we remain optimistic that hospital admissions will be avoided.

Please be reassured that supplies of the drug itself are not affected, only the cassettes, so you will be not be without your medication. It may just mean that you need to receive it in hospital.

What is being done to try and solve the supply problem?

Clinical PH services and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA UK) are working hard with the manufacturer, homecare delivery companies and government agencies at the highest level, to try to get these supply issues resolved as quickly and safely as possible.

The Department of Health’s Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response Team is now involved and as always, the UK’s specialist centres are working together so that a collaborative solution can be found.

Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns about this?

If you have any queries about your current stock levels, please contact your homecare delivery company urgently. Please do not contact your specialist centre as their stock is needed for patients in hospital.

We will review the situation daily and continue to provide updates via this web page and on our social media channels.

“I understand that this is worrying for those who may be affected by this supply interruption, which is the failing of the manufacturers, not the NHS. You may have seen rumours, or discussions about this issue, circulating on social media. Please be aware that not all online information is accurate, and ensure you obtain information from reputable sources, such as this website.

Our intention here is to inform you, not panic you, and we would like to reassure you that every potential solution is being explored as a possibility. The specialist centres and the PHA UK are working flat out, at the highest levels, to prevent the need for hospital admissions. It is important for us to be honest with you about the situation, which is why we have published this information. We will always fight your corner and we will continue to update you. I am personally still very hopeful that hospital admissions will be avoided.”

– Dr Iain Armstrong, Chair, PHA UK