Drugmaker pulling the plug on Phospholine Iodide

March 4, 2021
David Hutton

Citing an unstable supply chain, Pfizer is discontinuing the ophthalic drops.

In recent years, intermittent shortages of Phospholine Iodide (echothiophate iodide) ophthalmic drops have created issues for ophthalmologists, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Glaucoma Society and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus have often stepped up to work with Pfizer to correct the issue.

Ultimately, an unstable supply chain proved to be too great of a hurdle, and Pfizer announced recently it will discontinue the drops. The medication is used to treat IOP in glaucoma patients and also is prescribed for other issues, such as accommodative esotropia. There is no generic equivalent available, and Pfizer is the only manufacturer. 

In a legal notice, Pfizer has announced that Phospholine Iodide will not be available after May 1, with the expiration date on what supply is left is June 30, 2021.

The drugmaker said its decision was not based on safety, but on an unstable supply chain that has created shortages in recent years.

“We regret to inform you that after careful consideration Pfizer has made the decision to discontinue Phospholine Iodide,” the company said in a statement. “The manufacturing of Phospholine Iodide is complex and requires a series of external partners. Over the years, the supply chain has become increasingly unstable, leading to multiple stock-outs.”

According to the company, a limited supply of Phospholine Iodide will remain available through May 1, 2021. It may be ordered by calling Pfizer customer service at 1 800-533-4535 (option 4) and requesting a drop shipment.