20 November 2019

Member alert: Drug supply shortage

The MHRA has issued an alert to warn medical practitioners that Minims phenylephrine 2.5% eye drops. Read our advice

You may have read media reports relating to drug supply shortages in the UK. The MHRA has issued an alert to warn medical practitioners that Minims phenylephrine 2.5% eye drops will be out of stock from the end of November 2019 until early January 2020 and Minims phenylephrine 10% eye drops will be out of stock until early January 2020.

For optometrists working in a primary care setting, the College advises that you should check your stock levels and only use the drops when clinically indicated. We do not advise that you attempt any bulk purchase or seek to increase your stock levels of these drops. Doing so may create additional supply problems for the hospital eye service who have a high priority need for phenylephrine Minims. For optometrists working in a hospital setting, we recommend you consult the guidance in the alert on instances in which phenylephrine eye drops should be prioritised. 

You can read more about the alert on the MHRA website.

Related further reading

This paper describes the common visual problems associated with learning disability in adult patients.

This study reports on an audit carried out in the emergency eye care (EEC) service at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Kathy Oxtoby asks how optometrists can communicate effectively with patients who cannot verbally communicate.