Story 27 Beta-blocker (acebutolol) for blood pressure

Your faithful webmaster has just been told that acebutolol–a generic, beta-blocker that she has taken for more than 12 years to control blood pressure–is now in short supply. Yes! it’s same the little pill you see above in the banner of this website.

Ironically, I leave tomorrow for a conference at Emory University in Atlanta — on the drug shortage problem.

The drug is said to be on back order. Nevertheless it does not appear on lists at any of the sites dedicated to tracking the shortages.

Instead of being able to fill the 3-month prescription, the pharmacist provided medication for 10 days, but charged the full amount and owes me the rest. He also promised to “phone around” to try find more somewhere in the city.

Neither he nor I have time for this fiddling– but there’s more (I know it–does everyone else?): suddenly stopping a beta-blocker can lead to angina, irregular heart rate, and heart attacks.

I’ll update this post when I have more information … if I am still here.

22 June 2012

While I was in Atlanta, my pharmacist found the remaining 80 days worth of pills. I notice that the manufacturer has changed. I am grateful. Looks like I will live to keep running this website.

The conference was interesting. Watch for a Consensus report on the Statements page.

25 September 2012

Well, it happened again. I renewed my BP meds again in mid-September 2012, and was told to come for pick up in two days. But when I got there,  once again the pharmacist could give me only 10 days worth — and he owes me another 90 days. Three days later, I got a call that the remainder was in stock.

However, this raises a new question–not life threatening, but irritating.

I am on two prescription medications — each prescribed for three months–repeat times three ( a year’s worth). Normally, I would go to the pharmacy four times over the year.

Instead the two drugs are now out of synchrony owing to the shortage. I go twice for each renewal–that is SIXTEEN visits to the pharmacy every year instead of four. Maybe pharmacy owners actually like this arrangement — more visits=more sales of other stuff. I can’t believe that they do–but I wonder: Is anyone  tracking the effect on sales? AND — who has time for this?