Information For Healthcare Professionals

BASHH, BHIVA, HIVPA and NHIVNA statement on management of antiretroviral supplies in preparation for a no-deal Brexit Scenario, January 2019

In 2018 the Department for Health and Social Care, in preparation for a no deal Brexit, wrote to pharmaceutical companies that supply UK medicines from, or via, Europe. Companies have been asked to stock at least six additional weeks supply, over and above their business as usual stocks, by 29 March 2019. We are confident this extra stock will allow usual duration prescriptions for everyone, even if there are short-term supply issues after March. Additional contingency planning has assessed specific antiretrovirals at risk.

Trust pharmacies, home delivery companies and community pharmacy partners should not stockpile additional antiretrovirals beyond business as usual stock – pharmaceutical companies are responsible for holding extra supplies. Clinicians do not need to issue longer, or earlier than usual, prescriptions and patients should be reassured that there is no need for concern about the supply of their medication and therefore no need to stockpile. Changes to predicted use of drugs could risk continuity of supply.

As is normal current practice, patients should be advised to ensure they have a buffer supply of medication to last one month beyond their next clinic appointment and to ensure their appointment is booked to reflect this.

 

Influenza Vaccination – October 2017

There have been reports that some GP computer systems are giving a high severity alert about stopping antivirals for 2 weeks after immunisation and not to be immunised until 48 hours after stopping the antivirals.

The HIV Pharmacy Association of the UK would like to advise that there is no interaction between the influenza vaccine and antiretrovirals used to treat or prevent HIV infection and recommend that it is safe to give patients on antiretroviral therapy the influenza vaccine without compromising either the vaccine or the patient’s HIV treatment.

We believe the interaction alert some GP systems are showing is with respect to neuraminidase inhibitors used to treat influenza infection and does not apply to antiretroviral agents used to treat HIV.  We have reviewed the Summary of Product Characteristics for both Sanofi Quadrivalent and Fluvarix Tetra and confirm that there is no contra-indication to treatment in patients taking antiretroviral agents.

In summary, HIV patients should :

1: Have a flu vaccine

2: NOT STOP their antiretrovirals unless advised by the HIV

 

Information on switching to cobicistat containing preparations

For information about switching to Rezolsta (Darunavir + Cobicistat) or Evotaz (Atazanavir + Cobicistat) click here