Sinemet changes – what you need to know (FAQs)

What are the changes to Sinemet?

MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited) who produce Sinemet, have informed us that they are transitioning the manufacturing to an alternative site for three of their Sinemet products from May 2019.

This means the look of some of these products (listed below) will change from round to oval shape with a slight change in colour. However, the tablets contain the same ingredients and should therefore work as they do now. They will just look different.

The transition to the new shaped tablet in 2019 will commence from May.

Which Sinemet products are changing and why?

MSD have been working hard to keep Sinemet in pharmacies. They have kept us informed of their progress so we can communicate it to the Parkinson’s community.

The company recognise that they need to take action to stop this ongoing supply issue, so they have decided to move manufacturing of Sinemet 10mg/100mg, Sinemet Plus 25mg/100mg and Sinemet 25mg/250mg to another manufacturing site where they hope to provide a more consistent supply.

What are the timescales?

These new look tablets will start to be used from early June. However, some pharmacies may continue to dispense the round tablets until their supplies have been depleted. This may mean you receive round tablets for some time from your usual pharmacy. They are still ok to be taken.

Will I be affected?

You may see a difference in the size and shape of your Sinemet tablets (Sinemet Plus 25mg/100mg, Sinemet Plus 25mg/100mg and Sinemet 25mg/250mg) that you receive from May. The tablets contain the same ingredients and should therefore work as they do now. They will just look different.

How is this being communicated?

MSD will be communicating this to the relevant professional bodies and organisations including the:

· Department of Health and Social Care

· Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

· Pharmacies and chemists across the UK

· National Pharmacy Association

· Royal Pharmaceutical Society

· Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist Association and its equivalent in Scotland

· Association of British Neurologists

· British Geriatric Society – movement disorders section

· Royal College of GPs

· Parkinson’s UK – we’ll communicate this with people with Parkinson’s, our staff and networks including health and care professionals

Has Brexit impacted this?

No, this is a worldwide problem. Although MSD have been preparing, like all pharmaceutical companies, to have at least 6 weeks supply of all medications on hand to account for any supply issues caused by Brexit.

What happens if my tablets aren’t as effective?

Like with any medication, please discuss with your healthcare team and/or report any adverse reactions using the yellow card scheme operated by the MHRA.

The yellow card scheme is available: · online at https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/

· by phone: 0800 731 6789 (10am to 2pm Monday-Friday only) · by email: yellowcard@mhra.gov.uk

· by post at: Freepost Yellow Card Scheme, MHRA, 10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 4PU

What is Parkinson’s UK doing?

We are ensuring that people with Parkinson’s and the professional community (via the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network) know about these changes.

We are also making sure that MSD understand the views of people with Parkinson’s and the impact any supply issues have on them.

For more information please see the MSD website www.msd-uk.com

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