17 June 2024

As a result of a manufacturing issue delaying production there is expected to be a shortage of Orencia ClickJect (abatacept) from mid-June 2024. Orencia (abatacept) ClickJect is an autoinjector designed to be self-injected with appropriate training from a clinician. NHS England (NHSE) has issued a safety critical and complex National Patient Safety Alert related to the shortage (see here for more information).

On the recent medicines shortages, BSR Director of Practice and Quality, Ella Jackson said:

“We’re aware of recent medicine supply shortages across medical specialties which put additional strain on services and cause worry for patients. This latest shortage of abatacept will cause significant additional work for rheumatology teams and will test the capacity of homecare providers. We urge our members to follow the advice in the National Patient Safety Alert and report any issues to your trust’s executive lead (or equivalent role).”

Homecare providers such as Lloyds Pharmacy Clinical Homecare (LPCH), HealthNet and Polar Speed have sufficient stocks of abatacept to supply existing patients until 23 June 2024. From late August, Bristol-Myers Squibb will start to build their stocks up to ensure continuity of supply moving forward.

Clinicians, NHS trust homecare leads and homecare providers are being asked by NHSE to:

  • Not start new patients on any Orencia (abatacept) products.
  • Work with their homecare provider(s) to identify which patients will switch to Orencia® 125mg/1ml pre-filled syringes, prioritising paediatric patients and those being treated for severe treatment-resistant morphoea.
  • Review remaining patients and prescribe Orencia 250mg powder for concentrate for solution for infusion, if appropriate.

The switch to alternative abatacept presentations is complex and will require patient counselling. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep our members informed of any developments.

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