A shortage of medical grade sodium alginate is behind supply issues of Gaviscon Infant, its manufacturer has said.
There have been reports on Twitter of stock issues with the powder sachets, which are indicated for the management of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in children aged 1–23 months.
One GP in Sheffield tweeted that it was “shocking to have a baby completely come off a medication that is working because of supply issues”.
In a statement to The Pharmaceutical Journal on 7 October 2022, a spokesperson for Reckitt, which manufacturers the powder sachets, confirmed that “the limited availability of Gaviscon Infant is primarily due to a shortage of medical grade sodium alginate, the key ingredient in Gaviscon”.
“We are aware of the trust our consumers and healthcare professionals have in our products and we are doing all that we can to minimise disruption to supply, including working diligently with our supply partners to resolve these issues and obtain as much production as possible.”
This is the latest in a string of medicine shortages; most recently, the Department of Health and Social Care told The Pharmaceutical Journal that it was working on guidance to help prescribers navigate shortages of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists.
The College of Mental Health Pharmacy also previously told The Pharmaceutical Journal that a shortage of aripiprazole tablets across the UK had left healthcare professionals struggling to fulfil prescriptions.
In February 2022, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee attributed medicines supply issues to COVID-19-related staff absences, changes in trading post-Brexit and increases in oil prices.