Supporting the

Neuroendocrine Cancer Community


Jan 31, 2023

Neuroendocrine Cancer UK has been made aware that there is an imminent issue regarding the availability of Olatuton® (Octreotide long-acting) somatostatin analogue injections.

This is due to a legal issue that has led to the withdrawal of Olutaton®: it will not be available from February/March 2023, when the current stocks of the drug have been used.

Please note: the issue is NOT about drug safety or quality: it is about who can manufacture and supply. The manufacturers of Olatuton® are currently appealing the court decision.

We are aware, that the issue about availability of Olutaton®, may raise concerns amongst the members of our community who currently receive this medication.

We would like to reassure you that we, alongside your specialist teams, fellow advocates and UKINETs, have been working together to ensure that you are kept informed of changes that may affect you – and that you continue to receive the right care and medication for you and your Neuroendocrine Cancer.

NHS England are aware of the situation, and they have written to all NHS Healthcare Trusts.

They have suggested that patients who currently receive Olatuton® can be changed (or switched back to) to the Novartis product, Sandostatin LAR®, at the equivalent dose, as this medication contains the same active drug.

Those who prescribe your somatostatin analogue may, in consultation with you, consider switching you onto a different long-acting somatostatin analogue injection.

At present the only alternative licensed product in the UK is Somatuline Autogel® (Lanreotide).

How could this affect you

If you currently receive Lanreotide (Somatuline Autogel®) – there will be no change in your prescription, or administration arrangements, directly related to this legal process.

If you currently receive Octreotide (Sandostatin LAR®) – there will be no change in your prescription, or administration arrangements, directly related to this legal process.

OLUTATON® Prescription

If you currently receive Octreotide (Olutaton®) – you will be offered either Octreotide (Sandostatin LAR®) or Lanreotide (Somatuline Autogel®).

Please note: if you have previously had a clinical issue with Lanreotide you will be prescribed Octreotide.

OLUTATON® Administration

If you have been receiving Olutaton® via your GP (Primary Care) or hospital clinic – the change will be in the drug you are prescribed: either Sandostatin LAR® (octreotide) or Somatuline Autogel® (Lanreotide).

 If, however, you have been receiving Olutaton® via homecare administration then alternative arrangements will need to be discussed and arranged for you.

  • Novartis (Octreotide – Sandostatin LAR®) no longer have a homecare service – and have not currently agreed to provide an alternative free homecare administration service for patients who are switched to Sandostatin LAR®. *Responsibility for arrangements lies with clinical teams and Trusts.
  • Ipsen (Somatuline Autogel®) do have a homecare service – they have told UKINETs that they have sufficient drug supplies and homecare capacity to take on additional patients from 1st February 2023 if a decision is made to switch them from Olatuton® to Somatuline Autogel®.

As a patient organisation, Neuroendocrine Cancer UK, acknowledges that all decisions about future treatment plans for patients, who currently receive Olatuton, are the responsibility of individual clinicians, Neuroendocrine Cancer MDTs and NHS Trusts in discussion with their patients*.

However, as a patient support organisation, we can and will advocate for best practice:

equitable, accessible, evidence-based, patient-centred care

 If you have any questions or concerns about how this issue may affect you: please contact our Support Services Lead Nikie Jervis