Olsalazine 250 mg capsule and 500 mg tablet (Dipentum): Supply issue

Supply issue Active

The supplier (Clinect) has advised Pharmac that from February 2021 olsalazine 250 mg capsule (Dipentum) will be out of stock long term. This has also affected supplies of the 500 mg tablet.

Update: 20 July 2022

From 1 August 2022, we are listing an alternative brand of the 500 mg strength olsalazine tablets to support the continued outage of 250 mg tablets.

The new brand is Atnahs Olsalazine (Pharmacode is 2641704). This product is supplied in packs of 60 (Dipentum is supplied in packs of 100). 

The alternative brand tablets look the same as the Dipentum tablets.

Schedule listing for olsalazine(external link)

This product is not Medsafe approved, as such it needs to be prescribed and supplied in accordance with section 29. 

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. In this case, however, the alternative would be for patients to have no olsalazine. 

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)

The stock shortage is caused by issues at the manufacturer level. 

Pharmac has received clinical advice that olsalazine 500 mg tablets are a suitable alternative. They can be halved for patients requiring doses below 500 mg.

Who to contact

If you have any questions about this supply issue, contact Clinect info@clinect.com.au

If you have any funding enquiries, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz