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Focalin (dexmethylphenidate)

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  #1  
Old 05-03-09, 01:04 AM
phenyl phenyl is offline
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Shortage of generic 10 mg d-MPH Teva tablets?

I'm talking about instant release (obviously since XR is brand only still).

Recently, every pharmacy I've talked to has told me they've been unable to order generic focalin in any dose -- I had to buy brand name Novartis. They all only had leftover stock if they had it at all but can't order more generic focalin -- none know why this is occuring.

I'm wondering if any of you folks know if this is a local problem in my area that will clear up or if the existence of the Teva generic focalin IR is in trouble?

It sucks because brand Focalin IR is expensive. It also sucks because Focalin is a highly effective med and I'd hate to have to stop taking it due to the cost.
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Diagnoses(s): ADHD primarily inattentive (controlled: dexmethylphenidate 10 mg bid), Social Phobia (cured: CBT), major depression (mostly controlled: escitalopram 20 mg qd -- switched from mirtazepine due to sudden emergence of serious side effects), panic disorder (under control: clonazepam 1 mg bid & oxazepam 30 mg prn panic), insomnia (under control: zolpidem 10 mg prn), opioid addiction (clean now, taper over)
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Old 05-03-09, 04:30 PM
elizadoo47 elizadoo47 is offline
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Re: Shortage of generic 10 mg d-MPH Teva tablets?

Please, I'm interested, also, because my daughter just started XR sand she says "this is really good, mom--it works".

Yet I am paying over $4 a pill (!) though to be fair, it's cheaper than all the therapists and nutritionists and doctors I have been taking her to...

Also you seem to know a bit more about it, is there a good generic booster for evening, one that doesn't last so long nor is as strong, but has the same results?
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Old 05-03-09, 11:44 PM
phenyl phenyl is offline
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Re: Shortage of generic 10 mg d-MPH Teva tablets?

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Originally Posted by elizadoo47 View Post
Please, I'm interested, also, because my daughter just started XR sand she says "this is really good, mom--it works".

Yet I am paying over $4 a pill (!) though to be fair, it's cheaper than all the therapists and nutritionists and doctors I have been taking her to...

Also you seem to know a bit more about it, is there a good generic booster for evening, one that doesn't last so long nor is as strong, but has the same results?
Well, either the instant release version of Focalin (Focalin IR or just Focalin is the brand name), or instant release Ritalin (Ritalin IR or Ritalin) would be good as a booster if the XR isn't lasting long enough into the afternoon/evening.

I was actually talking about instant release Focalin in my post -- I don't take Focalin XR (it's too expensive). I take regular instant release Focalin 10 mg bid (2x a day, so 20 mg dexmethylphenidate per day total ---- what I take is equivalent to taking one 20 mg Focalin XR per day; instead I just take two regular Focalin 10 mg per day, one when I wake up, one around noon to two PM).

It's the regular Focalin, instant release, that I'm concerned about. It has a cheap generic made by Teva pharmaceuticals, but there seems to be a shortage and none of the pharmacists know why it can't be ordered at the moment. What worries me is that Novartis is trying to get their patent for regular Focalin extended which would cause the generic Teva version to be pulled of the market (Purdue pharmaceuticals did this with OxyContin -- there were a bunch of cheaper generics that got pulled because Purdue got a patent extension). I'm worried this is what's happening with regular Focalin and I'm hoping somebody knows the answer. The brand name (Novartis) Focalin (they're D shaped tablets with the dose number on one side) is very expensive compared to the Teva generic (which is a round pill, using the same color scheme as the brand name, but is marked with a four digit number that has nothing to do with the dose). I'm really hoping that the Teva generic becomes available again, because IDK if I can afford brand name Focalin (it's like a $50 copay vs $5 with the Teva generic).

This is exactly why I'm taking IR focalin and not Focalin XR (which has no generic and is quite expensive even w/ insurance). If they pull the Teva generic IR focalin off the market, staying on IR would become pointless because brand IR is just as expensive as brand XR.

I agree with your daughter that Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) is very effective, and I'd hate to have to switch to something else due to cost. I don't think I would switch, I think I'd just have to deal with the price. I'm still hopeful that the Tevas are just a temporary shortage and will come back.

For your daughter though... an IR Focalin or IR Ritalin booster would be a "short acting" helper to the Focalin XR for afternoons ... IMO those are the best options.
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Diagnoses(s): ADHD primarily inattentive (controlled: dexmethylphenidate 10 mg bid), Social Phobia (cured: CBT), major depression (mostly controlled: escitalopram 20 mg qd -- switched from mirtazepine due to sudden emergence of serious side effects), panic disorder (under control: clonazepam 1 mg bid & oxazepam 30 mg prn panic), insomnia (under control: zolpidem 10 mg prn), opioid addiction (clean now, taper over)
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Old 05-04-09, 12:39 AM
atxlady73 atxlady73 is offline
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Re: Shortage of generic 10 mg d-MPH Teva tablets?

Hello,

I have actually been scavanging for the last 4 months for the generic dexmethylphenidate 10 mg pills.

I asked my pharmacist to research why they were on backorder for so long.
When they called to inquire, they were told that the Manufacturer of the non-generic (Novartis) only allows a certain amount of generic pills to be created per quarter. At the time I inquired, two months ago, this was the answer. Now when I ask, they tell me they are on an indefinite back order and they're not sure when they will be able to produce pills anymore. I'm about to call my doctor tomorrow to get the Novartis Focalin because she's now on methylphenidate and has had a bad case of diarrhea and tonight she vomitted all over the bathroom and hasn't had anything to eat today shy of maybe 2 cups of "picking" at food all day. It also doesn't seem to be working for her behavior. She's been acting up quite a bit and has destroyed several things. She doesn't realize what she is doing and at times will be so uncontrollable that she hurts not others but herself. I'm going crazy not having her on Focalin - it does SO much better. I don't care if I have to pay $45 a month for the pills...it's her well being that matters.

I hope this has helped and I do feel your pain. I'm not a fan of Ritalin - even though I've been told Focalin is pretty much the same type of long term damage...

Good luck!

Heather
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Old 05-04-09, 10:39 PM
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Re: Shortage of generic 10 mg d-MPH Teva tablets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atxlady73 View Post
Hello,

I have actually been scavanging for the last 4 months for the generic dexmethylphenidate 10 mg pills.

I asked my pharmacist to research why they were on backorder for so long.
When they called to inquire, they were told that the Manufacturer of the non-generic (Novartis) only allows a certain amount of generic pills to be created per quarter. At the time I inquired, two months ago, this was the answer. Now when I ask, they tell me they are on an indefinite back order and they're not sure when they will be able to produce pills anymore. I'm about to call my doctor tomorrow to get the Novartis Focalin because she's now on methylphenidate and has had a bad case of diarrhea and tonight she vomitted all over the bathroom and hasn't had anything to eat today shy of maybe 2 cups of "picking" at food all day. It also doesn't seem to be working for her behavior. She's been acting up quite a bit and has destroyed several things. She doesn't realize what she is doing and at times will be so uncontrollable that she hurts not others but herself. I'm going crazy not having her on Focalin - it does SO much better. I don't care if I have to pay $45 a month for the pills...it's her well being that matters.

I hope this has helped and I do feel your pain. I'm not a fan of Ritalin - even though I've been told Focalin is pretty much the same type of long term damage...

Good luck!

Heather
Ah, so THAT'S why. The teva generic is an "authorized generic", not a TRUE off-patent generic. NOW I understand the problem more. With "authorized generics", the patent holder (Novartis in the case of Focalin) absolutely can limit the number of doses the generic drug maker can produce per quarter. I did not realize that this was an "authorized generic".

I'm just gonna tough it out and pay up for the brand name focalin IR 10 mg from Novartis (I take 10 mg 2x per day for 20 mg total, so I get 60 10 mg pills of IR dexmethylphenidate per month, which ends up costing like 40 to 50 bucks depending on the pharmacy -- although I think it's 50 always for me b/c I think the copay for brand Focalin is fixed with my insurance; for the generic Teva the copay is fixed at 10 bucks for the 60 pills). Focalin is the right med for my ADHD and I won't stop taking it because I need to pay a little more for a few months. It's STILL cheaper than Focalin XR which would be a 70 dollar copay for 30 20 mg XR capsules on my plan -- I certainly don't mind having to dose twice a day to save money -- the XR focalin isn't even a super advanced XR system that keeps blood levels really smooth, it just gives you half the dose immediately and half four hours later when the inert coating on the second half of the dose is eroded away ... so taking 10 mg IR d-MPH twice a day is the same damn thing.

Thanks for filling me in on what's going on with Focalin IR. I didn't know it was an "authorized generic". That makes a lot of sense in retrospect, because if Focalin IR was TRULY generic now, more than one company would be making generic versions. The fact that only Teva makes a generic instant release dexmethylphenidate is a glaring sign that it's an "authorized generic" and that the drug is not yet "fully generically available".

I'm sure lookin forward to when dexmethylphenidate IS completely generic though so I don't have to deal with this dose limit problem anymore.
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Diagnoses(s): ADHD primarily inattentive (controlled: dexmethylphenidate 10 mg bid), Social Phobia (cured: CBT), major depression (mostly controlled: escitalopram 20 mg qd -- switched from mirtazepine due to sudden emergence of serious side effects), panic disorder (under control: clonazepam 1 mg bid & oxazepam 30 mg prn panic), insomnia (under control: zolpidem 10 mg prn), opioid addiction (clean now, taper over)
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Old 05-05-09, 09:03 PM
elizadoo47 elizadoo47 is offline
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Re: Shortage of generic 10 mg d-MPH Teva tablets?

I just called one of our local pharmacies and was told that a 30-day supply of Focalin XR (regardless of strength) is $131-, that is with no insurance.

I could also get 60 Focalin IR, 30 day for supply, for $66-.

They said there is a generic "Focalin IR" which was $57- for 60, again, 30 day supply. They said it takes 2 or 3 days to get there (I guess the question is, can they even get it?)

The Focalin IR is a considerable savings over the XR---$70- a month! The convenience factor isn't such a big deal, I honestly don't think daugher will mind leaving class at noon to go take a booster med. She'd probably like the break!

But a $9- difference, per month, for generic versus brand name Focalin IR, to me, is not worth considering.
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