WQ90679 (e) Tabled on 23/01/2024

Is the Welsh Government aware of any issues with the supply of Creon, an essential pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy required to aid the uptake of nutrients from food for people with cystic fibrosis? If so, what action is being taken to resolve this in Wales?

Answered by Minister for Health and Social Services | Answered on 31/01/2024

I set out the extensive measures taken by the Welsh and UK Governments to support pharmacists, prescribers and patients to manage shortages in my written statement on this matter, published on 18 October. The statement can be accessed at: https://www.gov.wales/written-statement-disruptions-supply-medicines

Welsh Government officials work closely with their counterparts in the UK Government, manufacturers, wholesalers, prescribers and pharmacies to mitigate the effect of any disruption. 

In October 2023, the pancreatic enzyme replacement preparation Pancrease HL gastro-resistant capsules were discontinued by the manufacturer.  Advice issued to prescribers across NHS Wales recommended patients affected by the discontinuation of Pancrease HL be switched to the suitable alternative preparations Creon 25,000 capsules or Nutrizyme 22 capsules.

As result of the increased demand Nutrizyme 22 capsules have been out of stock with suppliers from mid-December and will continue to be until later this month. In the short term demand for Creon capsules is now exceeding the manufacturer’s ability to supply pharmacies.

However, more stock of Creon is expected from the manufacturer on 6 February, it may take a short period of time for this stock to arrive in pharmacies and for the supply position to normalise.  Patients who experience difficulty in obtaining Creon capsules are advised to try an alternative pharmacy until the supply position stabilises.