WQ93082 (e) Tabled on 03/06/2024

Will the Cabinet Secretary make a statement on the availability of axsain in the Welsh NHS?

Answered by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care | Answered on 04/06/2024

The disruption to the supply of these medicines is unsettling for those who have been prescribed them.

Maintaining the continuity of supply of medicines to the UK is a reserved matter and is the responsibility of the UK Government. However, managing the implications of supply disruptions for patients and the NHS requires co-ordinated action between the UK and devolved governments, and the NHS.

There are currently supply disruptions affecting both Capsaicin 0.075% (Axsain®) and 0.025% (Zacin®) cream. Teva UK Limited, which is the sole supplier of capsaicin cream, have advised that whilst they are not currently able to supply these medicines in the UK they have not been discontinued. Teva are exploring the possibility of resuming manufacture with the intention of re-launching in the future. However, this could take up to two years due to the processes involved.

Anyone who is having difficulty obtaining treatment should contact their doctor or pharmacist to discuss what alternatives might be available.

You may also wish to be aware of the Welsh Government’s Medicines Shortages web page, which offers general advice on why shortages occur and how they are managed.