Paracetamol 500 mg tablet supply
The supplier of the Pharmacare brand of paracetamol 500 mg tablet blister packs (1000 tab) has not been able to supply sufficient volumes of this product to the market. This means there is a stock shortage.
We're working closely with the supplier – API – to ensure that the available stock is managed in the best way to ensure patients who need paracetamol can get it.
To assist in managing the available stock, we have put restrictions in place for the blister pack product.
Information for patients
- Your pharmacist will dispense your paracetamol 500 mg tablets monthly or more frequently.
- A maximum of 100 paracetamol tablets per dispensing for most patients, and a maximum of 300 tablets per prescription.
- People with chronic conditions can access up to 240 tablets per month. A doctor or pharmacist must authorise this.
- Your pharmacist may dispense less than the maximum quantity to you, to ensure they have enough for everyone.
- You may receive a different brand. We are temporarily funding some alternative brands.
- If you have lots of paracetamol at home already, talk to your pharmacist. We want to make sure there is enough for everyone who needs it.
Information for pharmacists
- 22 January update. The Pharmacy Health brand is now registered, with stock due to arrive in February. Dispensing restrictions remain in place and wholesalers will continue to manage supply to pharmacy.
- 14 December update. We listed two additional paracetamol 500 mg tablet brands from 1 January 2019, Pharmacy Health and Paracetamol Pharmacare. API is awaiting registration of both brands. We will inform you when these are registered and available for purchase.
Further supplies of the Pharmacare brand (blister packs) are being released to wholesalers. The additional stock is not sufficient to remove the dispensing restrictions. Wholesalers will continue to manage supply to pharmacy.
- 15 November update. We have changed the restrictions applying to paracetamol tablets to ensure claims can be processed correctly. Claims for waivers by endorsement or annotation were rejecting. The restriction changes are backdated to 1 November 2018. Pharmacies will need to resend rejected claims. The amended restrictions will mean:
- Maximum of 300 tablets per prescription form.
- Maximum of 100 tablets per dispensing for acute patients. You can dispense the remainder as repeats.
- Increased maximum to 240 tablets per month when used for a chronic condition. Subsidy by endorsement. Pharmacists can annotate as endorsed where dispensing history supports a long-term condition.
- Stat dispensing has been removed from the blister presentation
- A limited quantity of the Priceline brand, in pack size of 100 tablets, is available.
- Where possible, use loose bottle paracetamol for dispensings in compliance packaging. There is plenty of loose bottle paracetamol.
- Avoid dispensing large quantities on a rural PSO or on a BSO. Check how much is needed.
- Wholesalers are managing stock out to pharmacies.
We appreciate your assistance in managing the supply of available paracetamol and acknowledge the additional work that this has involved.
We are hopeful that this issue will be resolved early this year. We'll keep you updated via this page.
If you or your patients have any concerns or questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 660 050 press 1.
Last updated: 22 January 2019