Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

Nitroglycerin spray shortage

A Tier 3 shortage has been declared of Nitroglycerin Spray 0.4 MG/ACT.

A Tier 3 Shortage is a shortage with no available therapeutic alternatives marketed in Canada and with the greatest potential impact on the Canadian drug supply and health care systems by virtue of availability of alternative supplies, ingredients or therapies.

Working with Health Canada, CPhA is recommending that pharmacists across Canada limit the dispensing of these products as much as possible to conserve supply throughout the shortage, as well as protect against possible stockpiling. The availability of nitroglycerin spray in hospitals and community pharmacies is expected to be extremely limited for the next few months (resupply expected June/July). 

The Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) and Canadian Cardiovascular Pharmacists Network (CCPN) have developed a decision aid resource that offers some practical tips to help manage the shortage at the community pharmacy level.

It is important that pharmacists have as much information about the shortage as possible. We have drafted some messages to help you explain the situation to patients (see below).

Information for patients

  • There is a severe shortage of nitroglycerin spray in Canada because of raw material supply issues for the manufacturer (Mylan) and subsequent increases in demand for other products (Sandoz and Sanofi)
  • Pharmacists across Canada have been asked to limit dispensing where possible to help extend inventory and ensure that all patients can access this medication.
  • If you have nitroglycerin sublingual spray at home please speak to your pharmacist as some of the expiry dates have been extended by Mylan.
  • Efforts are underway nationally to conserve supply, expedite resupplies, and access foreign-authorized supply, including alternative drugs.

Brands impacted

Mylan - Mylan-Nitro Sublingual Spray

Shortage due to delay in supply of raw materials. Mylan is reporting an estimated resupply by June 30, 2023.

Sandoz – RHO-Nitro Pumpspray

Shortage due to increased demand.

Sandoz is reporting an estimated resupply by April 28, 2023.

Sanofi-Nitrolingual Pumpspray

Shortage due to increased demand.

Sanofi is reporting an estimated resupply by July 31, 2023.

 

Expiry dates

In response to the shortage Health Canada requested that manufacturers determine if certain products could be safely used beyond their printed expiry. Health Canada reviews the information to ensure that the product is safe and will work beyond the printed expiry date. Products with extended expiry dates will be listed below. The chart will be updated as information becomes available.

Product Name

Lot Number

Original (Printed) Expiry Date

Extended Expiry Date

Mylan-Nitro Sublingual Spray (DIN: 02243588)

9F715

 06/2022

 06/2023

9F717

 06/2022

 06/2023

0B847

 02/2023

 02/2024

0B853

 02/2023

 02/2024

OF904

 06/2023

 06/2024

OG910

 07/2023

 07/2024

0H919

 08/2023

 08/2024

 

Alternatives

There are nitroglycerin sublingual tablets available in 0.3mg and 0.6mg strengths. This products’ capacity to meet an increased demand due to the shortage of nitroglycerin spray is expected to be limited. 

Health Canada is working closely with stakeholders across the supply chain and healthcare system on mitigation strategies, including ways to conserve existing supply, expedite resupplies, extend the expiry date of the product, and access foreign-authorized supply, if available. Health Canada is also evaluating whether the supply of nitroglycerin sublingual tablets can be increased. 

CPhA will continue to participate in stakeholder calls and provide information as this shortage develops.

 

Information and resources

Last updated: March 23, 2023