Thursday, 20 February 2014

Going Fast, From a Store Near You

As you go through your life with a chronic disease you find that there are many ways to treat your symptoms. It takes time to work your way through them by trial and error and find out what has the best effects for you.

Once you have a routine and favoured products it is very difficult to find replacements for your tried and true over the counter or  therapeutic health and beauty products. You really depend on them, more than if it were just shampoo or soap.

Behind the 8 Ball for product availability

Oilatum was a good bath oil but it is no longer manufactured. The pharmacist I asked advised the use of Baby Oil but it just sits on top of the water and coats the bathtub, not me.

I use Oral Balance Mouth Gel everyday and also Biotene tooth paste. I've gone to stores hoping to find old stock with no success. You can read about recent changes to these products on Julia's Reasonably Well blog. In my opinion the enzymes were the active part of the mouth gel and taking xylitol out of the toothpaste and adding saccharine85 sounds like folly. At Sjogren's conferences in the past leading specialists in Sjogren's and dry mouth talk about the benefits of xylitol.

Biotene tooth paste

Even my eye drops, Bion Tears seem to have disappeared. (update: I found a box and have reports of more so there's hope for this one)
Those are all things I use for Sjogren's Syndrome. It's tough enough to have health problems without losing your products. Also the new generic for the prescribed medication I take (Salagen) is terrible. The delivery mechanism is not at all like the original brand name product. The required approval process must not have tested it on users, just naive members of the general public. That's the only way I can imagine that it passed the tests as having the same bioavailability.


Even my Rx face cream is impossible to get. Retin A is almost generic. How can it be that no one makes it anymore? The pharmacist said Retin A was on back order and they couldn't get it.  If it's gone forever I'll be like Dorian Grey becoming his picture - probably will age 10 years overnight. 

My friend says "What's up? I am having trouble finding injectable B12, injectable iron, and now, K-lyte potassium tablets (fizzy orange tabs for water) are on back order".

Maybe some of this occurs because so many small companies are being bought up to lessen the competition, then the buyers dump the less profitable brands.  So while stock in companies like Valeant goes up like a balloon, we are probably losing a lot of specialized products.

I'm getting steamed up about all these things disappearing. No more Pears soap to be found anymore. I'm starting to worry about my Neutrogena soap. It's always practically hidden at the pharmacy in the bottom corner of the shelf behind a dump bin display.

This post does not even mention the drugs that we can no longer find readily. The FDA and HealthCanada post these shortages but do nothing to ensure supplies of these drugs which require high manufacturing standards or have become cheap generics.

It's all about the money. Has more and more specialized and pin-point marketing replaced product availability?


  1. I was watching Dragon's Den, yesterday, and they featured Wike - a bike trailer company in Southern Ontario. Even though some of the more than 20 different lines of bike trailers didn't sell, he chose to keep the less popular versions for the people who needed/wanted them. Wouldn't it be great if companies of your tried and true list did the same?

    Have you ever tried Essential Oils in your bath? Or doing a detox bath with 1 c. sea salt, 1 c. baking soda and 8 T. powdered ginger and 2 tea bags of green tea?

  2. Thanks Marianna, we had a great pine scented oil once. We both have problem with strong scents, and some products are irritating. Wike sounds like a great company. Doesn't the detox bath dry you out.?
    Thanks for the ideas.
    I phoned the GSK consumer line today. They said marketing (!) is responsible for reformulation of Biotene products. They'll give me a refund for the on e I bought and don't like.. Another friend had some ideas for replacement products. I'll ask the dentist expert at the Sjogren's Conference in May. The doctors are always terrific

  3. Where did you find Bion Tears? Target doesnt carry them anymore and it is the only product, altho pricey that aleviates my extreme dry eyes...checked online the only place now to get them?

  4. I was told that you can still get them at Costco, but I have never shopped there so need to find out for sure.