Testosterone (Depo-Testosterone and Sustanon) injections: Supply issue

Supply issue Active

There have been supply constraints for both Depo-Testosterone (pharmacode: 741264) and Sustanon Ampoules (pharmacode: 2172011).

8 December 2022: Supply status updated.

Reason for the supply issues

Depo-Testosterone

Pfizer notified Pharmac of a supply interruption for their Depo-Testosterone injection. The interruption is caused by manufacturing constraints in the USA. The site that makes Depo-Testosterone is being used to make COVID-19 related products. This has meant that they have had to reduce the volume of other medicines they make at this site.

Pfizer have contacted clinicians and the market to advise them of this issue.

Sustanon Ampoules 

The supply issue with Depo-Testosterone in turn increased demand for Sustanon Ampoules, leading to a supply issue. 

Timeframes

As at, 8 December 2022, we understand that Depo-Testosterone is at quality assurance at Healthcare Logistics. It will take time for supplies to clear quality assurance and make their way through the supply chain to pharmacies.

Sustanon ampoules were resupplied in mid-November 2022. It may take time for the product to reach pharmacies.

The alternative product we listed, Taro-Testosterone, is not yet available. 

Alternative product

Pharmac listed a section 29 alternative brand of testosterone inj 100 mg per ml from 9 September 2022. The product is not currently available.

  • Chemical: Testosterone cipionate
  • Presentation: inj 100 mg per ml, 10 ml vial
  • Brand: Taro-Testosterone
  • Pack size: 1
  • Subsidy: $393.00
  • Pharmacode: 2645149

Schedule listing for testosterone(external link)

For pharmacies:

RxOne users: the listings will be automatically updated by RxOne from the effective date.

TONIQ users: the listings will automatically be updated in Toniq medicine databases from the effective date.

Online Schedule: listing will not appear until the update for October is loaded.  

Please note that Sector Operations Group will be unable to process claims for September 2022 dispensing of the above listings. Pharmacies can either:

  • hold these claims until October 2022 OR
  • reclaim them in October 2022 when they are rejected for payment in September 2022 claims.

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)

People who receive testosterone

If your usual testosterone injection is not available, you will need to talk to your prescriber about which alternative treatment is best for you.

We know that changing treatments is not ideal. We are sorry about any inconvenience caused by this supply issue.  

Who to contact

If you have any questions about Depo-Testosterone, call Pfizer Customer Services on 0800 736 363

If you receive Depo-Testosterone, talk to the person who prescribed the treatment. They know you and your clinical circumstances best and can advise on the best alternative for you.

If you have questions about the funding of testosterone injections, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz