Generic drug update, heads up regarding Toprol and Albuterol

by Caleb Reading

For info on the Toprol shortage, CLICK HERE.


I’m not sure when these went generic, but they’re definitely out now:


Penlac topical solution

Cosopt eye drops

Coming soon:

generic Keppra tablets (not sure if the liquid will go generic yet)

Regarding Toprol

The Sandoz brand of generic toprol was recalled (paperwork error, the pills themselves aren’t poisonous or anything), so the Par brand of the generic is in short supply. Do NOT wait until you are completly out of the generic toprol before going in for more pills. We are rationing these in order of when people actually tell us they need them, not in order of when people might need them. We are not psychic.

By the way, you should NEVER wait till you’re completely out of medication before requesting a refill. On any drug. Just . . . don’t. At least 30% of the hellishness of my workday can be attributed to people who can’t be bothered to plan even one day ahead on a drug they’ve taken every day for years. Don’t wait till the last minute on something you know you need to do. This goes double on the weekends and quintuple on holidays. Come on, people. Don’t call the pharmacist away from Christmas dinner with the family because there were only three sugar tablets left in your birth control container three days ago and you “totally spaced”.

Regarding Albuterol

If you use generic Ventolin or Proventil inhalers, you probably already know that the propellant used is going to be gone after the end of this year, and you’ll have to switch to generic Proair HFA or Ventolin HFA or something else. Most stores can’t even order the old version anymore, and most of us have very little left in stock. The reason I mention this is because the cash price on the old version (at our store) is around $17 while the new version is over $30. If you’re using this and are a cash patient, you may want to try to get as many refills in while the cheaper version is still in stock. If you’re on a drug plan that has flat copays for generic drugs, please don’t swoop in and try to get every one of the old ones when your copay would be the same. There are working poor cash patients who can barely afford $17 let alone $35; please don’t take the last cheap one if you have good coverage. And keep in mind that the technician who fetches your inhaler and the clerk that rings it up probably haven’t seen a doctor in years, so don’t whine to us if you’re paying a 10% copay and your inhaler goes from $1.70 to $3.50. That’s like complaining to a homeless person that you have so many rooms in your house you have to buy more furniture.


To find the most recent posts about the Toprol recalls, CLICK HERE