Pethidine 50 mg/ml, 2 ml and 50 mg/ml, 1 ml ampoules (DBL Pethidine): Supply issue

Supply issue Active

Pfizer, the supplier of DBL Pethidine, have notified PHARMAC of an out of stock for their registered product.

29 July 2021

Pfizer have advised that they expect stock to be available by the end of August 2021.

Pfizer notified the market of a shortage of their registered product. They have sourced an alternative product through Max Health. This product is not registered in New Zealand and comes in a 10 ampoule pack and must be administered under section 29 of the Medicines Act.

Pethidine in the community setting

The Max Health product cannot be used in a community setting because of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1977, section s26(2)(e). The section states that a pharmacy cannot have a container that has more than 5 ampoules of pethidine. We cannot change or amend these Regulations.  

Read the Regulations on link)

We understand there is little or no DBL Pethidine left in the supply chain. If someone presents a prescription for pethidine to a pharmacist, they will need to be directed back to their prescriber.

Prescribers will need to consider the best course of action for their patients. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. 

Hospitals can order pethidine from OneLink

There is ample supply of the Max Health product for hospital use. Orders can be placed with OneLink on:

DBL Pethidine was reserved for community use

In their notification, Pfizer asked that the DBL Pethidine be reserved for community use. Pfizer were managing supply of the registered product. Pfizer no longer have any of the registered product on hand.

Check with wholesalers if there is any stock in the supply chain. 


Who to contact

Contact Pfizer on their customer service number 0800 736 363