On 25 February 2021, Merck Sharp & Dohme, manufacturers of Pregnyl® 1500IU and 5,000IU, released a statement informing the health sector that they were discontinuing supply. It is anticipated that the Australian supply will run out in August 2021.
In late March 2021, Professor Rob McLachlan, Medical Director of Healthy Male, and Professor David Handelsman, Emeritus Director, ANZAC Research Institute, wrote to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) requesting them to make recombinant hCG (Ovidrel®, MSD) the alternative hCG formulation in Australia, currently only approved for women under the PBS, available to men and children. This could utilise the same indications and conditions including reimbursement as currently applicable to Pregnyl®.
The letter was supported and co-signed by:
- Professor Bu Yeap, President, Endocrine Society of Australia (ESA)
- Dr Helen Woodhead, President, Australian Paediatric Endocrine Group (APEG)
- Associate Professor Prem Rashid, President Elect, Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ)
- Professor Luk Rombauts, President, Fertility Society of Australia and New Zealand (FSA)
Healthy Male has alerted the office of the Minister for Health about the issue. Professor McLachlan has been corresponding with the PBAC and has been informed that the matter will be considered at their July 2021 meeting.
Once an official response has been received from the PBAC, we will communicate it through our channels and pass the information on to the ESA, APEG, USANZ and FSA to ensure all clinicians are informed.