Oestradiol (Estradot) patches: Supply issue

Supply issue Active

We continue to monitor supplies of oestradiol patches.

19 January 2023: Supply levels updated

Supply status 

There have been several disruptions to supply of the Oestradiol (branded as Estradot) patches since August 2020. 

Availability of oestradiol patches 19 January 2023

We understand that stocks in pharmacies and wholesalers may differ from what's shown here. The product is on allocation, which means pharmacies are only receiving a small allocation each week. This is to ensure equitable distribution of the limited supplies around the country. 

The supplier advises the following:

25 mcg 

  • Estradot stock available at the supplier (pharmacode 2358840). 
  • Estraderm MX is out of stock (pharmacode 2645475).

50 mcg 

  • Estradot stock available at the supplier(pharmacode 2358867). 
  • Limited stock of Estradiol TDP Mylan (pharmacode 2601591) is in the supply chain. 

75 mcg 

  • Limited stock of Estradot is available, further stock expected early February 2023 (pharmacode 2514346). 
  • Estradiol TDP Mylan (pharmacode 2605317) is available.

100 mcg

  • Estradot stock available (pharmacode 2358883).

Alternative brands

We have listed:

25 mcg patches

For pharmacies

The listings should be automatically updated in pharmacy software. As this was an out-of-cycle listing, pharmacies might need to either hold claims until October 2022 OR reclaim them in October 2022 when they are rejected for payment in September 2022 claims.

50 and 75 mcg patches 

Dosing and approval status

The dosing is the same as the Estradot patches. These products are not Medsafe-approved, as such they need to be prescribed and dispensed in line with section 29 of the Medicines Act.

Prescribing and supplying a medicine under section 29

Section 29 of the Medicines Act allows for medicines that are not Medsafe approved to be prescribed and supplied to people. The medicine must be prescribed by someone registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand – e.g., doctors. 

We know supplying a medicine under section 29 is not ideal. This is the only alternative available to ensure people can continue to access treatment. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. 

Prescriber and pharmacist requirements for section 29 medicines – Medsafe website(external link)

What patients need to know about section 29 medicines – Health Navigator website(external link)

This is a global issue

Globally, suppliers are reporting extraordinary increases in demand for oestradiol patches. As a result, they are building up their production capabilities. Disruptions in distribution have also occurred due to global and local supply chain issues caused by COVID-19.

As this is a global issue, we may experience ongoing disruptions with supply of oestradiol patches.

Our team continues to talk with the supplier regularly and are monitoring this situation. 

Thank you for your patience

We want to acknowledge the stress this supply issue might be causing some people. We recommend people contact their healthcare practitioner if they have concerns about their medicine.

Other oestradiol products

At this time we are not aware of any supply issues for oestradiol (branded as Estrofem, partially funded) or oestradiol valerate (branded as Progynova, fully funded) but it is important to note that these are different medicines so will require a new prescription and guidance from a healthcare practitioner.

July 2022 supply issue

During July 2022, we listed the Climara brand patch to help cover the out of stock of the 50 mcg Estradot patch. Supplies of this product have now run out. 

Who to contact

If you are a prescriber or pharmacist with questions about this supply issue, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz 

If you use the oestradiol patches, contact your health professional. Pharmac cannot give clinical advice about the best treatments for you.