Archive for August 22, 2011

Story 2 Provera

A Kingston GP reports on August 22, 2011: Last week, I had a patient who wanted a renewal of Provera which she is taking as part of hormone replacement.  She is aware of the risks of HRT but has chosen to continue on it. Three separate pharmacies confirmed that generic Medroxy progesterone acetate is unavailable in the city and is currently on back order.  I ended up prescribing Prometrium which is a much newer progesterone.

Story 1 Stemetil (prochlorperazine)

I was first alerted to this problem in November 2010 by one of my patients who is taking chemotherapy for metastatic cancer. The best drug to control her nausea is Stemetil (prochlorperazine), a generic drug so old that it was around when I was a student nearly 40 years ago. Her pharmacist told me that no Stemetil was available in our city of Kingston. Astonished by this news, I even more dismayed when he said that he did not know why and suggested a more expensive brand name drug instead. We tried it, but it was not effective.

Why should a simple, old, effective remedy go missing in a country like Canada?

Since that time we have heard reports of shortages in drugs for anesthesia, depression, and cancer treatment. Some of these drugs were developed in Canada.