Guidelines for Supply Triage During Visudyne (Verteporfin) Shortage
July 16, 2021
Visudyne is an essential therapeutic agent for the treatment of specific sight-threatening retinal and choroidal diseases, including choroidal tumours, anti-VEGF resistant neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and centroserous choroidopathy (CSR). There is an active global shortage of Visudyne, and the next resupply is not expected to be available in Canada until the end of January 2022 (see: www.drugshortagescanada.ca).
The Canadian Retina Society (CRS) and Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) are working with Health Canada’s Drug Shortages Unit on this issue. Further, the CRS and the COS are suggesting the following mitigation strategies and suggest that the remaining supply of Visudyne be prioritized as follows:
- Priority 1: For the full course of treatment and management of sight threatening Ocular Tumours
- Priority 2: For the treatment of non-resolving CSR
- Priority 3: For the treatment of anti-VEGF resistant nAMD
The CRS and COS provide this information for guidance and urge all treating Ophthalmologists to collaborate with their local and regional oncology and retinal specialist groups to ensure careful triage of this agent to those patients in most dire