concentrations of N-nitroso-varenicline, a nitrosamine contaminant.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency advised that all patients should be transferred to alternative medication, and pharmacists must send any of the product back to their provider.
“Almost a year ago, all stocks of Champix were sent back to suppliers as a result of excessively high concentrations of N-nitroso-varenicline“
A Pfizer representative explained that “Pfizer worked closely with the MHRA and as a precautionary measure all batches of varenicline were recalled at a pharmacy and wholesale level in October 2021.
The MHRA said that “All Champix products are unavailable until further notice. The Department of Health and Social Care has issued a Supply Disruption Alert in June 2021, detailing the shortage with this product and have provided details of alternatives and further clinical advice to aid those wishing to stop smoking.”
Chief Pharmacist of Oxford Online Pharmacy, Stuart Gale, expressed how he felt totally “mystified” following the uncertainty, with no information since October on “what has happened to Champix”.
“At the time we thought this was just a temporary production issue that was going to be fixed, the product would be retested and then resupplied to pharmacists,” said Mr Gale.
“It’s now over a year since the original supply issues with Champix and pharmacists like myself are all still unaware of whether the manufacturing issue is fixed, or when supplies of the effective stop smoking treatment will become available for patients – especially ahead of Stoptober.”
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