NAPLES, Fla. The generic version of a widely used prescription drug is in short supply across the nation.
The shortage of Atenonol, a popular blood pressure medication, was first announced in July, according to the Food & Drug Administration.
Timothy Scott, of Naples, was shocked after his mother-in-law was forced to pay $400 instead of $4 for her usual dose of Atenolol. Scott’s wife relies on the medication as well.
“All that I could find out was that there’s a shortage of the main ingredient that’s created some shortage,” Scott said.
A similar version of Atenolol sold for $40 can be found at the Clinical Compound Pharmacy on 2616 Tamiami Trail North, according to the pharmacy owner Chad Stoneburner.
“This isn’t a take it or leave it drug. It’s something people have to take everyday. It’s a maintenance drug, period. Not an optional a maintenance drug,” Stoneburner said.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Sandy Walsh issued the following statement:
“We cannot provide information about why the active ingredient is in shortage, as that is commercial confidential information. The drug companies would have to disclose that if they choose to. However, the active ingredient in Atenolol is now currently available. Product should be available shortly, in the interim, patients should contact their doctor for medical advice and pharmacies for availability of the product.
We anticipate supplies should be increasing this month and will update our drug shortage website as more information becomes available. We understand that high drug prices have a direct impact on patients. However, the FDA has no legal authority to investigate or control the prices set by manufacturers, distributors and retailers. A number of factors can impact drug pricing, such as the costs of research and development and the amount of competition in the marketplace. Also, other factors, beyond FDA’s purview can determine patient access to drugs.”
For more information regarding prescription drug shortages, click here.