While answers about the testosterone shortage affecting brands in Canada and the U.S. have been hard to come by, we can now safely assume that Sandoz testosterone will remain unavailable for some time. Sandoz Canada announced Sunday it was temporarily suspending production at its Boucherville, Que., facility. The company said it was expecting “a significant reduction in output” and was halting production lines to upgrade operations after quality-control assessments by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned the factory fell short of FDA standards.
During inspections last summer, the U.S. regulator found the plant — along with two other Novaris/Sandoz plants in the States — had failed to prevent contamination in some drugs and did not alert the agency quickly enough. No products were recalled.
“In light of the November 2011 FDA Warning Letter, Sandoz Canada has further intensified its ongoing efforts to ensure high quality standards across its manufacturing operations. As part of these efforts, we will temporarily suspend or discontinue the production of certain products at our Boucherville site, most of which have alternatives in the marketplace, to prioritize production of most medically necessary products, and focus on the supply of critical medicines to the Canadian market.”
While Sandoz has not clarified which drugs will go out of production, this bulletin indicates that their 200mg/ml testosterone was discontinued in the U.S. in September 2011. Given the timing, the FDA crackdown may have been responsible for Sandoz testosterone becoming unavailable last fall. (A lack of raw materials has been cited by other testosterone manufacturers as the reason for the shortage.)
The latest slowdown comes amid a global shortage of several brands of testosterone, including Valeant, Pfizer and Sandoz in Canada; Paddock, Watson, Sandoz and Teva in the US; as well as Sustanon outside North America.
Rumored Return Dates For Canadian Brands of Testosterone
- Pfizer Depo-T (testosterone cypionate): mid-February or mid-March
- Sandoz (testosterone cypionate): May? Rumor was heard before this latest news about Sandoz.
- Valeant Delatestryl (testosterone enanthate): Unknown. Originally, Valeant claimed a mid-January return.
Have you heard any updates from your pharmacist lately? Please leave your comments below.
It’s all just so frustrating… I only wish I had some news to share. I *think* I heard of Delatestryl coming back late February, but my pharmacist didn’t sound all that optimistic. As it stands I’m stuck with AndroGel for now, which is pretty much my least favourite option at this point, and one I’m not sure I’ll be able to afford long-term.
I think Pfizer is the one scheduled to return soonest. I’ve heard mid-Feb, now passed, and more recently, early March. Valient said Delatestryl would be back in mid-January. I haven’t heard an update from them since that announcement.
At this point I’m not sure I care *which* injectable becomes available first. I’d much rather stab myself in the leg than pay out the nose for a messy, inconvenient topical with a monograph that would read like a joke if it weren’t so serious. I… think I’ve started ranting. Sorry 😛
I just checked with Stroheckers Pharmacy here in the US. They said that they have some stock but it will be extremely hard to get (they get theirs from Watson), BUT they compound their own in Sesame oil and have plenty of that.
That doesn’t help those outside the US and I really sympathize with y’all. I hope this gets straightened out quickly.
Thanks for that. Watson’s been out of stock for a while now, with no recent news. I’ve assumed Stro’s supply of their compounded T would remain stable, though unavailable raw materials have been cited as the cause of some of these shortages and I wonder if that could catch up with Stro’s. Hopefully NOT.
After reading your other T shortage post, I stocked up so I’m ok for about a year. But since I’ve had a hysto & can’t imagine life without T (injectable), I don’t even want to think about it.
I know you’ve had a hysto as well and I really feel for you. 😦
I hear you, Eric! I don’t want to run out again. Being without T for 6 weeks really showed me how important it is to my well-being.
*Nods* I wrote a rather morose blog post about it the first time around… all doom, gloom, and dystopic future. At least this time I got an alternative relatively quickly that my doctor was willing to prescribe over the phone with the pharmacy. I think she wanted to avoid my having to make yet another appointment as much as I did, since we’d just gone through a similar thing over insurance coverage for another, unrelated Rx. I just hope this temporary alternative really is temporary
Why, what happens if you can’t get any T post-hysto? I mean, I know about osteoporosis, but what else? Am due to have my hysto in a few months, and am starting to wonder if it’s a good idea – considering it will spell lifelong dependency on pharmaceutical T.
Good questions, Hamish. Simply put, if there’s a T shortage and you’re post-hysto (as I am) it means you go without. It’s not comfortable, and it’s unhealthy in the long term, but the reality is that I *am* dependent on pharmaceutical T. Millions of other men are too, so while they can jerk us around on pricing and availability, I don’t think they can ever withdraw the medication from market.
My problem is I don’t live in a big city, nor do I have access to one, so far I have been lucky and have managed to get my supply with only 1 day delay..
My pharmacy in Montreal just told me there is indeed a shortage of both Delatestryl and (Pfizer) Depo-T. I just reserved their last vial of Depo-T! I was due to renew my script next month, so I’m good to go for a little while longer.
This is nerve-wracking! I think I will buy as many vials as I can each time I renew my script from now on.
Thanks for keeping us updated and good luck to everyone!
I live in Vancouver and all pharmacies are out of all kinds of testosterone. By pure luck I managed to reserve what is probably the last T vial in the entire Lower Mainland. There was a recent article by the Metro about drug shortages yesterday as well – it seems a lot of medications are being affected and the shortages seem to be happening more frequently. They gave links to lists of drugs that are short and their re-supply dates. One of them lists Sandoz-manufactured testosterone cypionate being re-supplied on December 31, 2012!! The other link lists Pfizer’s Depo-Testosterone being re-supplied on February 29. From looking at these lists, the majority of drugs that are short are also injectable.
Thanks Jack, I searched for the list you referenced and found the notice with Pfizer’s ETA of Feb 29. Leap day. Hopefully.
I also noted that Pfizer cites the unavailability of Delatestryl as the reason for their shortage, not raw materials.
This is just craziness. I didn’t ever think that I’d feel like a slave to the pharmaceutical companies on their agenda…
Somebody seriously needs to start a pharmaceutical lab/company/business to take care of this growing demand for our brethren.
Not kidding at all…?
I know man, I’m kinda down about it. The shortage has really made it hit home that I’m *dependent* on my T supply, and it’s not a sure thing.
I really want to find out how to make T, just in case this happens long-term. From my (rather limited) knowlege of biology, it would probably involve some sort of genetic engineering. Not sure if it would actually be possible for an ordinary person to get the knowlege and material to do it?
Joey, there are several web pages that detail different ways to make testosterone. Obtaining the chemicals is generally difficult.
Originally it was extracted from bull testicles. I think these days they use genetically modified bacteria (I know that’s how they create Insulin).
In general I would not advice trying to do this at home unless you have the appropriate degrees, you can’t be certain about the concentration and / or purity of the final product, plus, things like the oil need to be sterile, otherwise you risk infection and doing that in your kitchen is…. well, not that easy.
Well this is real fun, six weeks and counting…..
This whole thing puzzles me. Talking with my Endocrinologist a few years ago back in Edmonton he told me they had the T in powder form and mixed it as needed for their testing / experiments. It is a bit puzzling why it is so hard to put the stuff back in production anywhere, it doesn’t sound like it’s a complex process.
The cynic in me thinks this is an attempt by Big Pharma to justify another round of cost increases, after all, they need to “invest” more to keep us supplied.
The cynic in you will find lots to chew on in my latest post! Testosterone Shortage Update: ETAs, Alternatives and Causes
So a quick update.
After reading here that Pfizer will start re-supplying next week I went to my pharmacy today to see if they had a date and if so if they could switch me over. They checked the date and have March 7th as the date for Depo.
But here is where it gets really interesting, they also tell me that Delatestryl is listed for March 7th as well.
The waiting may be over soon *crosses fingers*.
Thanks Michael, the bulletins I’ve found (checked again today) for Depo-T both stated Feb 29 as the return date. I haven’t been able to locate any notice about Delatestryl coming back but I’ve heard people say March-April. I have no idea how accurate that is.
I just happened upon this thread, and I heard from a nurse at my doctor’s office that Pace Pharmacy in Toronto, is compounding testosterone cypionate injections 100mg/ml. They have a very limited supply, and it’s a little more than double the price of Depo. But times are getting desperate so I just reserved a 10ml vial for myself. It sounds like they have a few left as of 4pm on Wednesday, Feb 29th.
I just came home from Shoppers Drug Mart (live in Toronto) and they said their warehouse has not date for either E or C. I checked the website that has the date of the 29th…but obviously that is no longer and accurate estimate. I am getting so stressed about this crap…the pharmacist suggested switching to Androgel until the supply is replenished…..fawk 😦
Any updates? Still no T where I live….
My endo in Montreal tells me that both Delatestryl and Depo-T are fully back in stock. Personally, I’ve had no problem getting Depo-T.