Due to recent recalls, many U.S. pharmacies are now out-of-stock of the popular beta-blocker metoprolol succinate. The original, brand name version, Toprol XL, is in very low supply. PharmacyChecker.com finds that consumers can obtain Toprol XL from licensed pharmacies in other countries -- and a much lower cost
WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — January 30th, 2008 — Consumers who use the beta-blocker Metoprolol Succinate ER are scrambling to find medication as a result of recalls by makers of two versions of the generic drug. ETHEX Corporation recalled all strengths of its version on Wednesday and Sandoz apparently issued recalls, although not widely announced, in September and November 2008. An authorized generic version by Par Pharmaceutical is apparently in very short supply. The original, brand name Toprol XL from AstraZeneca is also in short supply in the U.S. as a result of the lack of generics.
Potential problems with the generic versions had been reported by ConsumerLab.com in March of last year. The FDA subsequently issued a warning letter to Sandoz in August regarding manufacturing deficiencies. Deficiencies were also reported by ETHEX in December, which suspended manufacture.
Checking prices on the pharmacy comparison website PharmacyChecker.com shows that the most popular strength (50 mg) of the brand name product is available for approximately $0.47 to $0.70 per pill from licensed pharmacies in New Zealand, Singapore, and Turkey where it is sold under other names such as Betaloc CR. Prices in the U.S. for brand name Toprol XL are generally much higher -- $1 to $1.40 per pill. Toprol XL and generic forms are not sold in Canada, but some Canadian online pharmacies refer orders to licensed pharmacies in other countries. Generics are also available from abroad, although it is unclear if these may be affected by the recall of generics in the U.S. Prices can be checked on PharmacyChecker.com.
PharmacyChecker.com operates the largest independent verification service of U.S. and foreign online pharmacies and offers one of the largest, free, drug price comparison websites. It is privately held and has no ownership in or from companies that sell or distribute pharmacy products. The company also operates www.MedicareDrugPlans.com where seniors can compare, rate, and review Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. PharmacyChecker.com is affiliated with ConsumerLab.com.
Contact: Gabriel Levitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-387-4526