Dental Insider Blog

Observation and Commentary On the Dental Industry

Anesthetic Shortage Update

Posted by dentalinsider on June 30, 2006

The UPS man pulled up today and unloaded some familiar boxes that we haven’t seen in a while…..Lidocaine Red. We received 140 of the 1000 boxes we have on order. So I called Eastman Kodak and spoke with our customer service rep and he said they are starting to ship some of the orders for lido red, but they won’t be back up to normal levels until August. I asked again what the reason for the shortage was and the answer was, FDA something or other. So I decided to call Septodont as we have open orders for Octocaine and Septocaine. I asked them what their status was and they told me that they are shipping all of the old orders for both anesthetics. I asked them the reason for the backorder situation and this person didnt really know why, just that they were in a backorder situation. So I decided to call Dentsply Pharma, makers of the Astra Xylocaine, and ask them the same question. The response I got astonished me. They are not and have not been in a backorder situation on any of their anesthetic products. So how can it be that Xylocaine (lidocaine) is not in a shortage situation when the other manufacturers are? All 3 use the same formulation, so if one is in need of FDA approval, the others would as well. I am begginng to smell some rats here.
Legal disclaimer to make the lawyers happy. THIS IS JUST MY OPINION, but I believe that Eastman Kodak has falsely created this shortage in order to sell their floundering product Zorcaine, and Septodont has just followed along with this plan. If it is not true, why has no one from either company been able to give a legitimate reason for pulling all of these products from the market for the last 6 weeks? Here’s is my challenge to both Eastman Kodak and Septodont…email me dentalinsider@gmail.com or post a comment on the blog with the reason for this shortage and lets put this issue to bed. If you have an opinion or comment drop me an email or a comment.

To all, have a great Fourth of July Weekend. Lets remember all of those men and women that are protecting the very Independence that we will all be celebrating!

On a sad note, I lost a customer, fishing partner and true friend yesterday. Dr. Bruce, you will be missed, but never forgotten.

DI

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2 Responses to “Anesthetic Shortage Update”

  1. Dental Info said

    I have been able to piece meal my own version to what I believe the story is it is based on some facts and some conjecture:
    Cooke-Waite’s anesthetics were orginially manufactured by Abbott Labratories (ABT). From what I hear Abbott needed to upgrade their facilities and were unwilling to make the investment so CW switched their label and all CW anesthetics are now being produced by Novocol of Canada (Novocol is Septodont’s Canadian company/subsidiary). I also believe that this is why Marcaine is no longer available; Septodont does not have a comparative product. Additionally, Zorcaine is nothing more than overpriced Septocaine (this is typical Kodak/Cooke-Waite, head in the clouds high and mighty mentality). It all comes down to the fact that Henry Schein has some sort of controlling interest/equity investment in Septodont, that is why Henry Schein had Septocaine before anyone else. There have always been backorder issues with Septocaine, It doesn’t really make sense that they cannot get their production/distribution striaghtened out being that the product has been on the market for a few years now. It seems to me that Henry Schein still has a controlling and hands on interest in Septodont’s distribution activities and especially with CW products being added to their network they now have the ability to control the market and create an “anesthetic shortage” either to drive up pricing or to always have anesthetic in stock and be able to bring in customers that way. (This is why you can’t get a straight answer – there is no reason why Septodont should be backordered)
    This is the dental industry – the rats are here!!!

  2. Thanks for bringing this issue to light. I know that a lot of dental professionals are curious about the curious “anesthetic shortage” of late. Hopefully, we’ll see a satisfactory response in the near future from all parties involved – I’m not holding my breath.

    On another note, I’m sorry to hear about your loss.

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