Archive for Thursday, February 26, 2009

Massive drug recall causing shortage of certain prescription medicines

February 26, 2009

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Pharmacist Mark Smith, left, and interns Katherine Ward and Mike Hrenichir fill prescriptions on Wednesday at Orchards Drug, 1410 Kasold St. A genetic drug company called Ethex, which was available at Orchards Drug, has recently been pulled from the shelves.

Pharmacist Mark Smith, left, and interns Katherine Ward and Mike Hrenichir fill prescriptions on Wednesday at Orchards Drug, 1410 Kasold St. A genetic drug company called Ethex, which was available at Orchards Drug, has recently been pulled from the shelves.

A massive drug recall is causing a shortage of certain prescription medicines.

In some cases, it’s putting a squeeze on pharmacies as they scramble to find affordable alternatives for their customers.

ETHEX Corp. recalled dozens of drugs recently as a precautionary measure, including the generic form of the blood pressure medicine Toprol XL that it manufactured. The drugs have been recalled at the wholesale and, in some cases, the retail level.

“The products may have been manufactured under conditions that did not sufficiently comply with current Good Manufacturing Practice (an FDA requirement),” according to ETHEX.

Now that the company isn’t manufacturing the drug, it’s causing a problem for pharmacies nationwide, including Orchards Drug, 1410 Kasold Drive.

“We haven’t been able to get it for a month,” said Mark Smith, pharmacist-in-charge.

ETHEX and only one other company, Par, make the generic form of the drug.

The medication is in such high demand because of the recall that Smith said it isn’t available from Par.

Patients who use it are forced to use the more expensive brand-name version.

“It’s not a good solution, but it’s a solution,” Smith said. “It costs the patient more, and it costs the insurance company more.”

For other drugs, there are more than just two generic manufacturers, prompting less of an immediate shortage.

But with the ETHEX drug recall being indefinite, more products could see a similar supply shortage, causing similar problems, Smith said.

In some cases, pharmacists have been able to work with patients’ physicians to determine whether a similar drug can be used to treat conditions, said Pat Hubbell, of Sigler Pharmacy, 4951 W. 18th St.

None of the drugs has been recalled on the patient level, so in most cases Smith said it’s safe to continue using ETHEX brand drugs.

“You certainly don’t want to stop your medication,” he said. “If you think you’re having a problem, then you probably need to talk to your doctor, or you can call your pharmacy to find out if we know there’s been a recall.”

A list of the recalled drugs is available at ethex.com.

Comments

Shane Garrett 6 years, 2 months ago

Yes, the all knowing all powerful Government should give us houses, food, water, and run all business. Collective redistribution of all goods and services. Then as drones of the government we could chant the montra of: Zoma, Zoma, Zoma.

lucky_guy 6 years, 2 months ago

Can't blame this on the govment. This is free enterprise at its finest. Ethex cut prices to the bone to force all the other generics out of business then tried to cut corners to make a little money and poof.
But hey, its only heart medication as long as someone makes a profit that is all that counts. All those old people are costing us too much for Medicare anyway.

RoeDapple 6 years, 2 months ago

Not trusting the pharmaceutical manufacturers, certain poster has decided in his infinite wisdom to make his own.

And it shows.....................

watchdog1 6 years, 2 months ago

YET, Another generic company fails to adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices...and the Gov't wants us to take more generic drugs,,,, and oh, by the way,,,let's save more money and import them from GOD knows where outside US inspection control and take them too! Buying Medicine is not like buying a pair of boots.... your life depends on it! Generic companies don't invest their profits in research for new products that will extend your life and those of your children - they just stuff their pockets.

watchdog1 6 years, 2 months ago

What?????? The FDA notice states they are to STOP DISPENSING PRODUCT to PATIENTS, so how did this find its way into the article---

"None of the drugs has been recalled on the patient level, so in most cases Smith said it’s safe to continue using ETHEX brand drugs."

Irresponsible reporting

CaptKirk 6 years, 2 months ago

The main advantage of extended-release metoprolol (Toprol-XL and the generic equivalent) is its once-daily dosing regimen. For most patients, regular-release metoprolol -- still widely available in generic form -- works just as well, you just have to take it twice-a-day. Those who want to continue to benefit from the lower price of generic medicine should ask their pharmacist & doctor if it's OK to switch to the regular-release metoprolol while the extended-release product in generic form is unavailable.

rusty2 6 years, 2 months ago

must be why some of the 'wingnuts' haven't been on the forum - ran out of their 'meds'..... LOL.

woodenfleaeater 6 years, 2 months ago

Is medicinal marijuana included in this? I'm a little behind. I became an uncle today!!!!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 2 months ago

Relax and have a popsicle, rusty2. It's a cool and fruity treat.

brfitz 6 years, 2 months ago

Zoma?? Perhaps he meant Huxley's Soma. Otherwise, the only sense to be derived from his comment is his identity as a wingnut apparently suspicious of government oversight of anything. Maybe he got's some snakeoil he wants to sell you without worrying about the Feds.

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