Update: June 23, 2016
via Canadian Epilepsy Alliance Drug Shortage Committee
Clobazam is in short supply, but this drug is still available at some pharmacies. If inventories have become low or depleted at your pharmacy, ask your pharmacist to recheck the status of both generic clobazam and Frisium (brand name) with their suppliers.
Distributors have started receiving shipments this week of generic clobazam (Apo-clobazam, Apotex Inc.). The new stock will be spread across the country. There may restrictions on the amounts available to individual pharmacies until the supply situation stabilizes. A second replenishment of generic clobazam (Apo-clobazam, Apotex Inc.) is expected to arrive at pharmacies by early July.
It is expected that there will also be periodic shipments of the brand name product (Frisium, Lundbeck LLC) over the coming weeks as well.
Health Canada will be working with pharmaceutical manufacturers and other stakeholders to monitor status over the summer.
I take clobazam, what should I do?
- Continue to take clobazam as indicated by your healthcare provider
o do not skip doses
o do not take less than the prescribed amount
o do not make any changes in your treatment without medical advice
- Contact your pharmacist and ask them if they will be able to refill your prescription. If inventories are low, the pharmacist may provide a partial refill initially.
- Develop a management plan with your pharmacist and your healthcare provider in case clobazam is not available. You can share the following clinical management suggestions with your healthcare team: Clobazam Shortage / Pénurie de clobazam
- If your pharmacy is unable to refill your prescription – ask your pharmacist
o have they exhausted all avenues to try and find clobazam for you?
o have they searched for generic clobazam and brand name clobazam (Frisium)?
- If it is necessary to make changes to your treatment plan due to the shortage
o ask for a copy of the new treatment instructions in writing
o go over the information with your pharmacist
o ask your pharmacist to explain the information again if the instructions are not clear
- Continue working with your pharmacist and your health care provider until the situation is resolved in order to manage your epilepsy disorder in the safest, most effective way possible.
- Contact your local Canadian Epilepsy Alliance agency if you need help by calling 1-866-EPILEPSY (1-866-374-5377)
What is being done to prevent this from happening again?
The Canadian Epilepsy Alliance/Alliance canadienne de l'épilepsie is committed to helping people with epilepsy maintain access to a safe, consistent and reliable supply of antiseizure medication. We will continue to advocate for (i) prevention of antiseizure drug shortages and (ii) improved management when shortages cannot be averted.
If you are concerned about this situation as well, please take a few minutes to write to your Member of Parliament and provincial representative (MPP, MNA, MHA or MLA) to share your concerns. Explain how a drug shortage affects you and your family. Find your Member of Parliament (MP) | Find your provincial representative
June 7th, 2016
Important NEW developments regarding the clobazam (Frisium) shortage:
There is a serious shortage of clobazam. A very severe prolonged shortage was anticipated, lasting many months, but the outlook has now changed. Health Canada held a teleconference on Friday last week that included the pharmaceutical manufacturers and other stakeholders including the CEA and CLAE.
The clobazam shortage will be resolved this month.
Pharmacists may not be aware of these recent changes yet.
Apotex Inc. the major supplier of clobazam for the Canadian market had projected their resupply date would be November 30, 2016 but Apotex will now be resupplying clobazam this month. The first resupply of Apo-Clobazam to wholesalers is expected on June 17, with subsequent batches on June 21 and June 27.
Extra Frisium should be available from Lundbeck this week.