Opana and Percocet Shortage?

I was reading my Internal Medicine newsletter today, mostly because it reminds me of how much happier I am treating addiction than I was when I practiced Internal Medicine, and I came across an article about commonly abused opioids. (1)

The FDA forced the plant that makes Opana ER to close down because of a malfunction of their machinery. The plant, owned by Novartis, is the only facility that makes Opana ER for Endo Pharmaceuticals. Opana ER may be in short supply in coming months. Endo is asking doctors to refrain from starting any new patients on their Opana ER to reduce the risk of affecting the supply for patients already on this medication.

The Novartis plant also makes over the counter medications like Excedrin, No-Doz, Bufferin, and Gas-X. Officials said the plant’s machinery could have inadvertently dropped opioid pills or pill fragments into bottles of these over the counter medications. As a result, all of these products with an expiration date prior to 12/20/2014 have been recalled.

Endo also makes Percocet, Percodan, oxymorphone, morphine sulfate extended release, Endocet, and Endodan. It’s possible these medications may be in short supply, though facilities manufacture these Endo opioids.

For patients who are being prescribed an Endo opioid, the manufacturer’s website provides pictures of opioid medications, so that patients can confirm their medication looks like that pictured on the website: http://endo.com

For opioid addicts, the price of these medications on the black market will rise if opioids become harder to obtain, according to the principles of supply and demand. Perhaps the increased price will tip the decisional balance scales toward entering treatment. That’s my hope.

  1. Internal Medicine News, Vol. 45, No.2, February 1, 2012, p 7.
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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by craig on February 19, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Hi I’ve been prescribed opana er for about a year after several severe incidents in a short time period you I know of the factory mix up but can’t find anything about the projected length of the factory closure or an estimate on when the factory may reopen this medication has been extremely difficult to obtain if you have heard anything on this topic please reply

    Reply

  2. Posted by Bob on February 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    If you have any additional questions or concerns, you can contact customer service at 1-800-462-3636.
    This is the number to Endo’s customer service.

    Reply

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