Medicine Shortages Information: General information

13 January 2016

The Medicine Shortages Information Initiative provides information about prescription medicine shortages in Australia.

The website provides health professionals and consumers with information about medicine shortages that are:

  • prescription medicines registered in the ARTG (at the time of notification)
  • currently or anticipated to be in short supply either temporarily or permanently (discontinued).

This information is based on the voluntary notification by sponsors in accordance with the agreed Protocol. A Business Specifications and Guidance Supplement is also available for sponsors through the eBusiness Services website.

The information available on the website for each medicine shortage includes:

  • sponsor name and contact details
  • product active ingredient and trade name, strength, dose form and ARTG number
  • reason for shortage (from drop-down menu)
  • estimated duration of shortage
  • shortage type
  • additional supply details about the medicine as appropriate
  • information about substitute medicines or therapeutic alternatives as appropriate.

By subscribing to the alert service, subscribers can elect to receive email or RSS feed notification of new and updated medicine shortages information.

The site includes reference to the status of the shortage by:

A medicine shortage listed on this site means that the supply into the Australian market is not likely to meet the consumer demand for the medicine in Australia, for a period of time.  However, the medicine listed may still be available at the pharmacy to fill a prescription. 

Alternatively the pharmacy may be out of stock of a medicine that is not listed on this site. This may be caused by local stock ordering levels that are not related to an overall Australian shortage; or the shortage is not notified by the sponsor.

If you are having difficulty obtaining a medicine that has been prescribed to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.