Oxycodone hydrochloride tabs controlled-release 5 mg and 10 mg: Supply issue

Supply issue Active

There is a supply issue affecting the funded brand of oxycodone controlled-release 5 mg and 10 mg tablets.

22 November 2023 | Supply status updated

The 20 mg controlled release tablet is now out of stock with the supplier as well. We have now added the resupply dates for each product. Information on supply of the alternatives has been updated. 

Affected products

Due to delays with the supply of the active ingredient, a manufacturing delay has resulted in an out of stock of oxycodone. 

The supplier is out of stock of Oxycodone Sandoz Controlled release:

5 mg tablets

  • Pharmacode: 2559714
  • Resupply expected: January 2024

10 mg tablets

  • Pharmacode: 2559722 
  • Resupply expected: early December 2023

20 mg tablets

  • Pharmacode: 2559730
  • Resupply expected: early December 2023

Note: there may be supplies of these products within the supply chain.

Other strengths and presentations are not affected.

Schedule listing for oxycodone(external link)

Alternative brands 

Importing alternatives takes longer than usual medicines because oxycodone is a controlled drug. It requires additional export and import licenses.  

5 mg

From 1 November 2023, we funded Oxycodone Sandoz S29 tab controlled-release 5 mg (Pharmacode: 2666448). The supplier continues work to get the necessary export licenses for this product.

(The October shipment of the OxyContin (S29) brand (Pharmacode 2659980) has run out.)

10 mg

Stock of the registered 10 mg arrives week beginning 27 November. It will take time for this product move through the supply chain to pharmacies.

We listed Oxycodone Sandoz S29 tab controlled-release 10 mg (Pharmacode: 2666456) on 1 November. We anticipate this stock will not be needed. 

Pharmacists, thank you for your time and energy. We appreciate that dealing with supply issues is challenging, and moreso when the product is a controlled drug. 

Prescribing and supplying an unapproved medicine

Section 29 of the Medicines Act 1981 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 – such as, a doctor. 

We know supplying a medicine under section 29 is not ideal. In this case, however, this will allow patients to be able to access an appropriate treatment. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. 

Advice for prescribing under section 29 – BPAC website(external link) 

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

Medsafe’s section 29 Declaration / Notification Form [DOC](external link)

What people need to know about unapproved medicines – Healthify website(external link)

Alternative treatments

We have received clinical advice that the following may be suitable alternatives to the oxycodone controlled release 5 mg tablets. These are different medicines and will require a new prescription. Clinicians may want to consider consulting with a palliative medicine or pain specialist, where appropriate.

  • Morphine long-acting (m-Eslon is the funded brand)

Schedule listing for morphine sulphate(external link)

  • Oxycodone 5 mg/5 ml oral liquid (Pharmacode 2243687)

Schedule listing for oxycodone oral liquid(external link)

Dose conversion information for oxycodone and morphine - BPAC(external link)

Oxycodone datasheet - Medsafe [PDF](external link)

Who to contact

If you have questions about the funding for this product, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz

Please include as much information as you can about the product (presentation, brand, pharmacode) and who your wholesaler is.

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