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Update on Ora® product supply shortage (September 2023)

Medicines (Reducing harm)
11 September 2023

Due to a manufacturing issue, Ora® products are likely to be in limited supply for the coming months before resupply in early November 2023. These products include Ora-Blend®, Ora-Blend SF®, Ora-Plus®, Ora-Sweet® and Ora-Sweet SF®. See the Pharmac website for the latest information

Ora® products are used in many New Zealand Compounding Working Group standardised batch sheets for compounded oral liquids (hosted on the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) website).

In general, if your pharmacy cannot get the Ora® product you normally use:

  1. check the standardised batch sheet on the PSNZ website to see if an alternative Ora® product can be used (eg, if you normally use Ora-Blend, check if the sugar free version can be substituted)
  2. if no alternative Ora® product can be used, or is available, check to see if the solid dose form can be dispersed in water (or crushed and mixed with water). The Australian reference ‘Don’t Rush to Crush’ is available for PSNZ members via AusDI on its website. Also:

a. consider seeking advice from one of the hospital-based medicines information services, or a paediatric pharmacist if related to a child under specialist care

b. discuss with the prescriber regarding unapproved methods of administration – a new prescription may be needed.

Prioritisation of compounding

Where possible, prioritise remaining supplies of Ora® products for compounding liquids of these medicines that are high risk, and for use in infants and children:

  • Azathioprine (due to risk when crushing tablets at home)
  • Baclofen
  • Clonidine
  • Levothyroxine
  • Sildenafil
  • Tramadol.

Next priority should be given to medicines that do not disperse easily or where the active ingredient is poorly water soluble and part doses are being used, or they are being administered via a feeding tube:

  • Clobazam
  • Diltiazem
  • Enalapril
  • Metoprolol tartrate
  • Verapamil.

New Zealand Compounding Working Group (September 2023)

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