Parkinson's drug shortages: an update

You may have seen some recent news articles concerning shortages of Parkinson's drugsSimemet and Azilect. We have been working to clarify the situation by contacting the manufacturers so we can reassure people who may be affected.

Many of you will remember the global shortage of Sinemet in 2010 and the fantastic support that so many people with Parkinson's and their families and carers gave to our campaign.

We have been monitoring the situation since then and have recently been made aware that some people have had problems getting hold of half Sinemet (62.5mg or 12.5/50mg).

We contacted MSD (who manufacture Sinemet) who confirmed there is no shortage but there is a back-log of orders, which may cause some disruption until June 2012. Pharmacists who are having trouble fulfilling orders of Sinemet should contact MSD customer services on 01992 462094.

Azilect was also mentioned as being one of the drugs in short supply. The manufacturer, Lundbeck/ Teva, has confirmed there is plenty of stock but it is held centrally in order to regulate the supply.

Pharmacists are rationed to a certain number packets at a time but this can be increased, if the number of prescriptions they receive increases.

Pharmacists who require more than this number need to contact their Alliance Healthcare Service Centre or Lundbeck customer services on 01908 462094.

We will be monitoring the supply of all Parkinson's drugs carefully over the coming months and will make sure we keep everyone updated. We are committed to making sure people with Parkinson’s have access to the medication they need.

If you've been affected by drug shortages, tell our campaigns team about your experiences on or 020 7963 9349.


Anonymous said...

helo my name is david hullock and i reside in cyprus could you xplaine to me about the name mirapexin and medopexol are they off the same only different names there is a shortage off the medopexol out here

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This may not be something you can answer, but I have spoken with a chemist many months ago who said that sometimes drug manufacturers end up selling their drugs overseas because of favourable exchange rates (I think) and this can affect the UK supply - and presumably the same can happen in reverse as drug companies are international businesses.

Is this something you have any information on?

Parkinson's UK said...

In answer to the question on selling drugs overseas, we don't have any information on this. But we are looking at Parkinson's medications in the UK, which includes work on shortages of certain drugs. For more information, contact our Campaigns team on

Parkinson's UK said...

And in answer to David's question about Mirapexin and Medopexol - they both contain the active ingredient pramipexole, so they're both dopamine agonists. We have more information about dopamine agonists on our website at

Anonymous said...

I am not at all surprised by this company having distribution problems. My current supply is as usual a mixed bag, mostly manufactured in Spain or Italy with the odd British manufacture. Those made in Spain and Italy have then to be plastered in stickers description the product in English. I did pass a comment that it only needed to include manufacture in Greece to complete the set of European Economies only to find that amongst my other medication I found! yes Requip XL made in Greece!

Anonymous said...

Avant-garde research done at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston by dedicated Dr Gul Moonis MD

1. An extremely rare case of Intradural Venous Varix that was for the first time encountered at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre (BIDMC) as a intradural mass by the Dr Gul Moonis and her brilliant team. This has never been previously reported by any scientist working in imaging of CNS. This is an unprecedented case where the Intradural Venous Varix exhibited itself as a palpable mass like lesion in the lumbar region located along the dorsal aspect of the cauda equine. This path-breaking study by the team at BIDMC will stand the future neuroscientists in good stead as it could be included as a guideline in the pivotal differential diagnosis of a numerous intradural lesions encountered by clinicians and radiologists. In conclusion it can be stated with academic authority that this important study done at BIDMC Boston MA will go a long way in giving a fillip to the neuroradiological diagnosis of Intradural Lumbar Spinal Lesions in patients.
2. At the BIDMC in Boston , another unalloyed contribution was made by Dr Gul Moonis MD and her team of dedicated professionals when they studied Transient Focal Leptomeningeal Enhancement(LME) in Sturge-Weber(SW) Syndrome was studied threadbare using advanced neurodiagnostic techniques, on a patient with the SW syndrome reported to the department of neuroradiology with a history of focal seizures. A calcium gated channel study was also required to have been undertaken but the study was done conventionally since the patient developed post-ictal hemianopia. MRI of the focal LME was done to rule out other syndromes. The seizures resolved uneventfully using conventional therapy.
3. The age related detrimental changes to the brain was also studied by Dr Gul Moonis and her hardworking team of co-workers at BIDMC Boston using MR volumetric and positron emission tomography. Some expected results were obtained, that further confirmed that the total volume of brain in on an upswing upto the late teens or till 20 years of age. The second hypothesis that was confirmed by the study by Dr Gul Moonis and her team was that there is a statistically significant decrease in whole brain metabolism and frontal metabolism by 38% and 42% respectively, but the surprising fact that was deciphered was that the cerebellar metabolism remains unaffected with age related deterioration of other functions of the brain. This gold standard study using Pearson's Chi Squared Test and a watertight Double Blind Study will facilitate the clinching diagnosis of debilitating diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, in their nascent stages so that neuropharmacological intervention can control the further progress of symptoms, thereby improving the quality of life of senior citizens and those having early onset of these neurological maladies.

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