Pharmacists may be encountering a shortage of Kadian®, used for pain indications and opioid agonist treatment (OAT). The shortage is primarily of higher-dose capsules: 20 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. The 100 mg capsules are back-ordered until mid-February, but 20mg and 50mg capsules will be available from McKesson as of Monday, January 15.
Recent communication from the BCCSU advised that M-ELSON® could be used instead of Kadian. As a reminder, M-ELSON is not a benefit under PharmaCare Plan G, and there is no PIN for M-ELSON for OAT, so please use all means at your disposal to obtain Kadian for your OAT patients. Do not dispense M ELSON under the Kadian PINs.
If you receive a prescription for Kadian and do not have appropriate strength Kadian capsules in stock, please contact nearby pharmacies to obtain stock and ensure procedures for emergency narcotics stock transfer are followed. If you have Kadian stock on hand and do not regularly dispense to your patients, or if you have more stock than you need in the short term, please contact the BCCSU during regular office hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) at 604-416-1535, so they can assist in ensuring there are no treatment gaps for OAT patients.
We are working with the manufacturer and distributor to resolve the shortage as quickly as possible.
Pharmaceutical Services Division
B.C. Ministry of Health