The Council has been informed that there is a temporary interruption to the supply of pethidine as a result of COVID-19. This is not likely to be resolved until March/April 2021.
An alternative but unregistered product has been sourced; however, the Council understands that this is a section 29 medicine which means it can only be prescribed by medical practitioners. We also understand this product is not available to be distributed to the community.
As authorised prescribers, midwives are able to prescribe morphine, pethidine and fentanyl for intrapartum use. But, as with other medicines that have been impacted by recent supply issues, midwives cannot prescribe the unregistered pethidine alternative.
The Council has raised the matter with the College of Midwives.
From early November 2020 midwives will no longer be able to prescribe panadeine. We will include details about this change in our next e-midpoint which we will publish before the end of October.
The Council will provide updates if it receives more information about any of these matters. Please contact the Council if you have any queries.