Recently the FDA recalled Zantac (generic name ranitidine) due to higher than accepted levels of a carcinogen found at a manufacturing plant.
Ranitidine is commonly used OTC for heart burn prevention and relief. In some cases patients have prescription strengths for more serious conditions such as stomach ulcers. People who use ranitidine OTC may have seen this recall and just stopped taking it, without putting too much thought into it since it is not a drug regularly used by them.
However, for those who have a prescription and need to take it regularly, it is up to their doctor to prescribe an alternative in the same drug class or a comparable treatment with similar results. Pepcid (generic name famotidine) is a common substitute for ranitidine.
When Zantac was recalled in September, there was a spike in famotidine sales to compensate for the lack of ranitidine in the market. This caused many back orders for manufacturers to occur since so many patients were switched over in such a short period of time. Keeping up with an unexpected demand for a large population of patients can be frustrating and difficult for manufacturers as well as pharmacists in hospitals and community pharmacies.
As a company that has a large division dedicated to unit dose generic drugs, this recall significantly effected our market demand for famotidine. AvKARE is always adapting and adjusting to the pharmaceutical industry trends (expected or not) while trying to stay prepared for challenges that come with product recalls.