22 April 2024 Abatacept Shortage

Abatacept (Orencia) subcutaneous formulations are experiencing low stock and intermittent supply risk globally. This shortage is due to a combination of manufacturing delays and increased demand.

Due to the limited stock of abatacept prefilled syringe and ClickJect prefilled autoinjector, usage must be significantly reduced by switching the majority of patients on abatacept to an alternative biological or targeted synthetic DMARD (b/tsDMARD) to conserve stock for patients with no or limited alternatives. 

The ARA recommend:

  • no new patients be started on subcutaneous and intravenous abatacept
  • patients be switched to an alternative b/tsDMARD where possible
  • stock be conserved for patients who have
    • prior use of 2 other b/tsDMARDs
    • relative or absolute contraindication to other b/tsDMARDs

To ensure that eligible patients can access the available stock, BMS have developed the Orencia Stock Hypercare Plan (OSHP).

Through the OSHP, eligible patients will receive an eligibility form completed by their rheumatologist/immunologist that pharmacists will submit when ordering abatacept. Patients should contact their rheumatologist with any questions they may have concerning their treatment. 

The Therapeutic Goods Administration have announced that the Serious Scarcity Substitution Instrument (SSSI) is now in force until 31st October 2024. This allows a pharmacists to substitute the prefilled syringe with the ClickJect autoinjector and vice versa, without a new prescription from the prescriber. For more information, please see the TGA web alert

The ARA are working closely with Bristol Myers Squibb (manufacturers of abatacept) who are making every effort to resolve this situation as early as possible and to ensure the impact of this shortage is minimised for patients in Australia.

Further information can be found on the TGA abatacept shortage webpage.

For ARA members, further information can be found on the dedicated Abacept Shortage page. 

For patients, you can find more information on the Arthritis Australia website.