Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 15th March 2019.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure the continued availability of the Beta Blocker Metoprolol for people who are prescribed this medicine on the NHS.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department is aware of a supply issue affecting metoprolol 50mg and 100mg tablets. The issue has been caused due to some manufacturers discontinuing the products and other manufacturers experiencing supply difficulties. Limited supplies of both strengths of tablet are currently available. While further deliveries of both the 50mg and 100mg tablet are expected to be released to the United Kingdom market during March, supplies of metoprolol are likely to be intermittent for a number of months.

The Department has worked with NHS England, NHS Improvement, UK Medicines Information and specialist clinicians to develop guidance for clinicians to use with their patients, who may be affected by this supply issue. The guidance outlines management options, including the use of alternative beta blockers and monitoring requirements during switching, should this be necessary. Information about this supply issue and the clinical guidance has been cascaded through primary and secondary care networks in the NHS. Departmental officials are working with all manufacturers of metoprolol to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and will continue to monitor the supply situation for all beta blockers closely.

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