Supply problems with Oxcarbazepine impacting patients with epilepsy

Feb 27, 2024 | Branded Generics, Brands, General, Generics, WaveData News

In Parliament his month questions were posed to Andrew Stephenson, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care by Peter Grant MP (SNP). He asked ‘What steps the Department is taking to ensure that there is an adequate supply of Oxcarbazepine for patients with epilepsy.’

The Epilepsy Society have also published information and advice for Patients, GPs and Pharmacists as prescribers and dispensers seek to find an alternative during this period of shortage. They state ‘We have been informed by the Department of Health that there is currently a shortage of some Oxcarbazepine 150mg and 300mg tablets. Other versions of the medication are available but may not be able to support increased demand.’

Epilepsy patients cannot swap between brands or generics in the way that patients with other conditions can, a product swap can often lead to the reoccurrence of seizures.

Of the 112,453 GP prescriptions written for Oxcarbazepine in 2023, 49% were for the Oxcarbazepine 300mg tablets. Charles Joynson, WaveData MD, looked at the profitability of Oxcarbazepine, and found that in the majority of cases profit for pharmacies or manufacturers did not seem to be the problem. However, in the case of Oxcarbazepine 300mg tablets 50 pack, pharmacy profitability is low and erratic, though the drug tariff has been reasonably stable and currently sits at £6.46.


Read more about the Epilepsy Medication updates from the Epilepsy Society here:

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