American College of Rheumatology Update on Tocilizumab Shortages
August 17, 2021 | Advocacy
ATLANTA – The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is actively engaged with the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) drug shortage team as they work with the manufacturer to resolve current shortages of tocilizumab (Actemra). Demand for tocilizumab has outpaced supply, with demand increasing after the FDA’s June 24 Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for tocilizumab to be used for the treatment of COVID-19 in some hospitalized adult and pediatric patients.
The manufacturer has indicated in an August 16 update that providers may currently find tocilizumab IV supplies to be unavailable due to high demand, but they expect IV stock replenishments by the end of August. Measures are being taken to expedite replenishments and increase manufacturing capacity and supply wherever possible, but they have indicated additional intermittent shortage periods may occur in the months ahead if the COVID-19 pandemic continues at the current pace.
According to their statement, subcutaneous formulations (pens and pre-filled syringes) continue to be available for patients prescribed tocilizumab for FDA-approved indications, and these are not authorized for treatment of COVID-19 patients under the EUA.
The ACR has finalized guiding principles on the allocation of intravenous tocilizumab. Providers experiencing trouble obtaining tocilizumab IV or any other issues related to COVID-19 can contact the ACR at COVID@rheumatology.org.
About the American College of Rheumatology
Founded in 1934, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a not-for-profit, professional association committed to advancing the specialty of rheumatology that serves nearly 8,500 physicians, health professionals, and scientists worldwide. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatology professionals are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.