Varenicline (Champix): Supply issue

Supply issue Active

Pfizer have paused distribution of all brands of varenicline.

19 January 2022

Pfizer expect to start supplying varenicline again in the second half of 2023. 

Affected product

The out of stock affects all presentations and brands of varenicline. Pfizer have paused distribution due to impurity concerns with their manufacturing. 

Pfizer are investigating the exact cause of the issue. 

Direct questions to Pfizer

What you can do

People who take varenicline

If you have any varenicline, Pfizer have advised that any product currently in the market is safe. 

Prescribers

Please do not prescribe varenicline until it is back in stock. We are still working with Pfizer on a resupply date.

Pharmacists

People will not be able to fill any repeats that they have. You will need to direct people back to their prescribers to discuss treatment options. 

Alternative product

There are other funded products to support people to stop smoking. There are no current supply issues with these products.

Nicotine patches, gum or lozenges(external link)

Buproprion tablets (Zyban)(external link) 

Background

In April 2021, Pfizer advised there would be a shortage of the Varenicline Pfizer brand. To cover the out of stock, Pharmac previously listed Pfizer's Champix brand. 

Following that Pfizer notified us of a supply interruption to both brands of varenicline. Pfizer have told us that this is a global issue. 

Who to contact 

If you have questions about this out of stock, contact Pfizer

If you have questions about the Special Authority, contact enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz