Notice regarding the Depo-Provera Shortage

Date: April 9, 2021

Pfizer reported an anticipated shortage of Depo-Provera (Medroxyprogesterone Acetate) for July 2021. The shortage is due to a disruption of manufacture. The plant is also the major site for the manufacturer of the COVID-19 vaccine. The need for the vaccine has resulted in reprioritizing the manufacture of other products, including Depo-Provera.

To manage the shortage, the company alerted the SOGC and Health Canada, with sufficient lead time for alternate plans to be made. The Drug Shortages Unit (DSU) at Health Canada has escalated this to a Tier 3 category shortage, which means HC was able to take extraordinary steps to secure an alternate supply, until domestic manufacture is restored. As a result, on March 31, 2021, Pfizer’s US-labelled Depo-Provera (Medroxyprogesterone Acetate) was added to the List of drugs for exceptional importation and sale (i.e. List of designated drugs). DSU will be following up with Pfizer for updates and timelines regarding the importation of the product.

The SOGC would like to thank the members of our Sexual Health and Reproductive Equity (SHARE) Committee for their help in providing briefing notes on Depo-Provera; these were very useful to the DSU. Health Canada is working to have the alternate supply in place before we deplete existing stock of Depo- Provera. However, until we have the alternate supply secured, please consider if there is a suitable alternative for Depo-Provera before prescribing, so that we can ensure that those with the greatest need continue to have unbroken access. Pfizer plans to be able to resume normal operations by June 2022.

For more information, please consult the Drug Shortage report.

Read the statement HERE