21 October 2021

Another drug shortage – now it’s abatacept

Medications Rheumatoid Arthritis

Bristol Myers Squibb has alerted the TGA and ARA to anticipated shortages of the SC autoinjector and IV presentations of Orencia.

In a statement from BMS, the shortages were attributed to “a combination of manufacturing capacity constraints and supplier component challenges”. 

According to the TGA medicine shortage information, 125 mg single dose ClickJect prefilled autoinjector shortages are anticipated from 21 Oct 2021 to 15 Nov 2021, and 250 mg powder for IV infusion vial from 29 November to 17 December 2021.

The pre-filled syringes are not affected by the shortage, and according to BMS are a viable alternative treatment option.

However, Associate Professor Sean O’Neill, ARA therapeutics committee chair, told Rheumatology Republic there is no guidance as yet as to whether there are enough to make up for the shortfall in autoinjector pens if patients were to switch.

“There will be some impact, but it will really depend on how long the disruption lasts and on how many supplies of the syringe version are available – it’s not yet clear how bad it will be. It is certainly a concern following on from the ongoing tocilizumab disruption.”