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Abatacept (Orencia) shortage: updated IV infusion clinical guidelines

10 May 2022

The supply of abatacept has improved, and health professionals can now resume normal prescribing of intravenous (IV) abatacept (Orencia IV infusion).

The availability of subcutaneous presentations of abatacept products is improving but will remain constrained throughout the first half of 2022.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) extended the Serious Scarcity Substitution Instrument (SSSI) until 30 June 2022. This will help patients have access to subcutaneous abatacept as supply returns. The SSSI makes sure that pharmacists can offer adult patients whichever subcutaneous presentation is available at the pharmacy without the need for a new script.

Information for consumers

Supply of abatacept is improving. Following collaboration between the TGA, Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia Pty Ltd (BMS), the Australian Rheumatology Association (ARA) and Arthritis Australia, specialists have been advised they can increase the use of intravenous (IV) infusion abatacept in some patient groups.

To help patients as supply returns, the TGA extended the SSSI until 30 June 2022.

If you have questions about your current treatment, please contact your specialist.

Information for prescribers

The ARA has provided updated clinical guidelines because of an increase in supply of IV abatacept.

The ARA now recommends:

  • you should not initiate new patients on subcutaneous abatacept; however
  • you can resume initiating new patients on IV abatacept.

There is no additional process to obtain supply of IV abatacept for patients. The process to facilitate ordering of subcutaneous abatacept for patients who meet the ARA's guidelines is still in place. For each individual patient who is to remain on subcutaneous abatacept, prescribers must complete a patient eligibility form to enable pharmacists to order stock.

Specialists should contact BMS on 1800 067 567 for more information about the prioritisation process or to access the form.