Jump to content

Abbvie Canada has reversed the decision to discontinue VIBERZI


Recommended Posts

Jeffrey Roberts

Greats news for Canadians 🇨🇦 about access to VIBERZI for IBS-D.

Abbvie Canada has reversed the decision to discontinue VIBERZI (eluxadoline 75mg & 100mg tablets). To help mitigate the current shortage, Health Canada has allowed importation and distribution of US-labelled VIBERZI.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...
Jeffrey Roberts

We have heard recently from someone who tried to have a prescription filled. The pharmacist said that Viberzi was still not available.

I suggest contacting Abbvie and asking them for the timeframe when Viberzi will again be available in Canada, [email protected]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

This would be amazing if it’s true that Viberzi is truly coming back to Canada, or another drug to help with IBS-D. I don’t see my specialist until next week to ask her if it’s true. I just need someone to verify this is true to help me with my issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Roberts

I'm not sure your specialist will actually know. Mine certainly didn't. The best person to ask is to email Abbvie Canada (above) and/or talk to your pharmacist.

The one other medication for IBS-D in Canada is Zaxine (Xifaxin in the US) which is an antibiotic. That is not something you can stay on long term.

Other than Viberzi or Zaxine, low doses of certain antidepressants also might help to manage abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Jeffrey, ya I am doing the two weeks of Zaxine now tomorrow is my last day then I seethe doctor next week. If it doesn’t work I dunno what I am going to do if Viberzi is no longer available.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I emailed Abbvie in the US to desperately ask and give them a piece of my mind about this "shortage", the answer I received on February 14 was:

"Please note that an anticipated return date for Viberzi is early March 2023.  Perhaps, this is not a confirmed date.  Please refer to your Healthcare professional for assistance."

As for this actually happening I  have my doubts.  It was announced 5 months ago.  I am very disappointed that I  had ZERO warning about the discontinuation.  Specialists should have known and you would think that Pharmacists would have been notified.  Patient care slipped badly there!  A person could have prepared.  It will be expensive but if able, I will be getting at least 2 or 3 months at a time.

In my city in Alberta, most Pharmacists are not even aware it was discontinued, only that it was unavailable.

I hope you have much better luck with your Specialist than I did in January when I got almost less than nothing.

OTC Immodium (Loperamide) was the starting point as a replacement for the Viberzi - read the directions and ask your doctor before taking.  I have several conditions to deal with.  Not putting much faith in this working but Rifaxamin is a greater risk for me.

I may try Pillbox online.  They are regulated by the Collage of Pharmacists in several Provinces that cover different areas and the medication is much cheaper than what I pay at my Pharmacy per bottle.

Myself, I don't care what the language is on the bottle - as long as it is on our shelves.  Too many "things" that shouldn't matter, we can get an instruction sheet in the language we need.  Health Canada - are you getting this suggestion?  We know how to take this vital med, don't block our healthcare further please!

Thanks for letting me vent as well as letting you know what I have heard from Abbvie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Fay, for the information yes I also was getting 3 months at a time. I was told the same thing from the pharmacist but then again by  my specialist. Let’s just hope and pray 🙏 that it does return to Canada or someone can tell me how to get it from the US. Why can’t the pharmacist just order it from the US. If this pill is helping Canadian with there issues. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Roberts

You'll have to appreciate that covid caused many medications to be in short supply or not available at all. It's pretty well impossible to expect a GI specialist or a pharmacist to know if a medication is in short supply without personally searching for it. A private website maintains this list of drugs in short supply, https://www.drugshortagescanada.ca. Pharmacists are only aware that their wholesaler can't supply a medication vs it is being discontinued. Some medications are in short supply for years versus being discontinued.

In this case, Abbvie withdrew Viberzi from the Cdn market because it wasn't worth the effort to import it from the UK. Few pharmaceuticals manufacture medications in Canada . When Patients complained that they still needed Viberzi Abbvie went to the trouble of applying to Health Canada to allow them to import it from the US. There is no quicker way to provide access again other than you personally flying or driving to the US to get your own supply. That is perfectly legal if you go to a walk-in clinic in the US and explain that you would like a prescription because of the circumstances.

I'm very grateful that it is coming back to the market in Canada in whatever timeframe it takes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Roberts

According to @Fay's posting she heard from Abbvie and they said "Please note that an anticipated return date for Viberzi is early March 2023.  Perhaps, this is not a confirmed date.  Please refer to your Healthcare professional for assistance."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Jeffrey, but people like myself that have an issue with IBS-D doesn’t give us much help. Waiting for a pill that was already here then gone without the patient knowing until you go to get a refill on the prescription. You would think doctors and pharmacist should have been told so they might be able to get something else for their patients if possible. Now we are out in left field waiting and guessing with no help. Sorry but I am very frustrated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Roberts

I'm sorry Annie. It really does suck and I completely understand your frustration.

When we found out about this last summer we knew that the current supply in the pharmacies and their wholesalers were going to run out by late September 2022. Many of us ran around to pharmacies to buy whatever we could find. Unless we specifically asked the pharmacy to try and place an order to fill a prescription they wouldn't have known. It's just the way the system works now. As I've said, so many medications are out of stock right now that nobody can keep track.

A number of us contacted the pharmaceutical directly and demanded access again and it worked. It's going to take some time to fill the pipeline, but the good news is that it is going to be available soon. I'm not sure where you live, but if you are close to the US border and can't wait then I suggest going on a day-trip and arrange a walk-in clinic visit and then fill your prescription. It's going to be very costly, but it might be worth it for you.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello. New to this group.

I live in Toronto and am also awaiting resupply of Viberzi. I have called the Abbvie customer service several times. I had been told that shipments would begin in early March.  I called this morning and now it is April 1. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Roberts
18 minutes ago, Jeannette said:

I called this morning and now it is April 1. 

Hi Jeannette - thanks for joining and sharing that news. Ugh! At least it is still on their radar and it is coming back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to share that this was also news to me and freaking out as to what to use in the meantime. Immodium it is.

Now most Canadians know Shoppers Drug Mart. Your pharmacist can generate a list of all the Shoppers that are listed as "limited supply." I called all the Shoppers and my pharmacist and I found myself a 90-day supply at another location. Many of these locations said they had none but it was well worth me calling 10 locations to find one that had pills.

https://www.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/rx-inventory?search=viberzi

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, JeRu said:

I want to share that this was also news to me and freaking out as to what to use in the meantime. Immodium it is.

Now most Canadians know Shoppers Drug Mart. Your pharmacist can generate a list of all the Shoppers that are listed as "limited supply." I called all the Shoppers and my pharmacist and I found myself a 90-day supply at another location. Many of these locations said they had none but it was well worth me calling 10 locations to find one that had pills.

https://www.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/rx-inventory?search=viberzi

 

 

Well I hear that Viberzi is coming back to Canada either this month or next. But no promises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Jeffrey Roberts

Thank you for creating this forum. Dealing with this all my life and feeling like a "regular" person with VIberzi. The internet is a scary place so I have been driving myself crazy searching for information about the Viberzi situation.  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Roberts
42 minutes ago, JeRu said:

@Jeffrey Roberts

Thank you for creating this forum. Dealing with this all my life and feeling like a "regular" person with VIberzi. The internet is a scary place so I have been driving myself crazy searching for information about the Viberzi situation.  

 

 

You are very welcome. We unfortunately all know what you are going through and are here to support each other. Fingers crossed that Viberzi is available again soon across Canada.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t have much faith in what I did but I wrote my Provincial Health Minister an email describing the situation.  I asked if there was anything he could do to move along an emergency supply as Abbvie seems to be dragging this out far to long since first announced.

I told him that anyone who currently found themselves without this vital drug did not care what language was on the bottle, perhaps a little too much red tape that Pharmacists in each Province could handle???  An information sheet sheet could be translated so much faster.

If I could figure out how best to contact the right person at Health Canada I would.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I called Abbvie Canada Customer Relations again this morning for any update on delivery. It is still April with no specific date.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Roberts
5 hours ago, Jeannette said:

I called Abbvie Canada Customer Relations again this morning for any update on delivery. It is still April with no specific date.

Well, at least they know that we are still interested. Thanks for sharing what you found out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m in the same boat as everyone else in Canada. I have good news. All pharmacies in my area were faxed availability of Viberzi 75 mg and 100 mg as of today.

when pharmacy attempted to order still said back order.

I have a copy of the fax in hand with Abbivie letterhead.

I’m not sure how to post the fax page stating full availability signed by senior brand manager Mike Shaw- Abbvie Canada.

A little hope it seems??

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trevor this is great news for us Canadians, but because the pharmacy have been without supplies for some time chances are it will take them some time before they can refill any prescription.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Trevor!  A ray of hope at least although odd pharmacies not showing anything - and we think we are the last to know lol!

 I am waiting for a callback from my pharmacy on something else and will be asking them this one for sure - many thanks❣️

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...