Why is Xenical out of stock?

By : Sophie | Published : Friday May 18, 2012 | Posted in : Weight Loss
Xenical medication box

UPDATE October 2012: We are pleased to announce that we now have Xenical in stock here at HealthExpress.

If you take Xenical to help you lose weight, you will probably be aware of the stock shortage issues that are being experienced worldwide. These supply issues have been going on for several months, but information relating to the shortage has been scarce, leading to a great deal of confusion amongst patients and healthcare providers alike. Unsubstantiated rumours about a possible warehouse fire and negative side effects have spread across the internet, with speculation that the medication may never return to normal sale.

It is important to note first that these rumours are just that – rumours – and there is no reason to believe this Xenical stock shortage will be permanent. There is also no basis to the theory that the medication has been withdrawn due to safety concerns. Prescription medications are required to undergo stringent clinical trials prior to being approved for use, and Xenical is no exception to this. If concerns about adverse side effects are raised after the medication is licensed, further clinical testing is carried out to ascertain the benefit-risk balance. If the medication is deemed to pose too high a risk, it is then withdrawn. This process is not carried out in secret; on the contrary, it is usually well publicised by the media and health bodies.

You can see an example of how this process plays out with the development, production, licensing and then withdrawal of the weight loss medication Reductil. With this in mind, there is no reason to believe there is any cause of concern at this time for Xenical. If you are still concerned, you may find this report from the European Medicines Agency reassuring . It was released in February of this year and answers questions about the review of medications that contain orlistat. The EMA evaluates medicines that have been developed and licensed to provide guidance to both patients and healthcare providers throughout the European Union. You can visit their Xenical page for more information about the medication.

So why are there supply issues?

In January, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Xenical, Roche, reported that the supply of Xenical would be disrupted because the production facility that produced the active ingredient orlistat had been found to not be in compliance with what is known as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). This does not mean there is any reason to be concerned about the medication, as the health authorities have not made any requests to withdraw or recall any existing medications that were produced in the facility.

How long will I have to wait for Xenical?

An update on the situation was released in March, advising that the stock shortages will likely continue for several months. There have not been any further updates since then.

What shall I do in the meantime?

Unfortunately, as Xenical is the only prescription weight loss medication currently available, there is no equivalent medical alternative for patients. The pharmaceutical company Teva has, however, been granted a licence which allows it to produce a generic alternative using the active ingredient orlistat. Due to the significant demand for this medication, however, patients should be aware that there may take some time for them to obtain it.

If you are concerned how the Xenical stock shortage will impact your weight loss regime, try not to panic. Speak to your doctor if you are unsure as to how to continue with your weight loss routine without the medication.

We will continue to post updates about the Xenical stock shortages as and when we receive further information. If you would like to be notified when we have Xenical in stock, you can fill in your details here.