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Shortage of Lacrisert (hydroxypropyl cellulose ophthalmic insert)

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  • #31
    So it is December 12, 2021. Lacrisert is out of stock again. This product has suffered from chronic out of stocks over the years. I do not understand what it is so scarce and expensive. Call Bausch & Lomb and request that they find a way to manufacture it. It's just cellulose. Someone needs to develop an over the counter product and put it next to the eye drops in the retail aisle. And yes you can cut it in half to make it last. I use a razor blade. My doctor also prescribed an erythromycin ophthalmic ointment which I use at night if my eyes are dry and burning. It is available as a generic and is not expensive. Also, Norwegian cod liver oil has had a profound effect on my dry eyes. One tablespoon per day. I buy the liquid because I have trouble swallowing the gel caps.

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    • #32
      Sadly i have been told that Lacriserts will not be available again until 4Q 2023. Yes I did mean 2023. They were being produced by a 3rd party for Bausch. This 3rd party had failures in manufacturing equipment and has now decided to walk away when their contract ends at the end of this month. I believe Bausch was hoping they would extend and fill back orders by 2Q 2022 but they have walked. I am guessing 4Q 2023 is because another company now has to tool up to create this product. I seriously find it a miracle product and am in trouble without it with filamentary keratosis a real issue on top of the inflammation and severe dry eye problems of Sjogrens Syndrome. I too cannot figure out why something made from cellulose is so difficult to keep on the market when it works so well. I think the answer is simply money. bausch cares more for profit than supporting people who need this product as there are simply too few of us to make it profitable.

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      • #33
        Yikes! I am so very sorry to hear this. Losing the contract manufacturer is a really big blow. Honestly I would be very surprised if Bausch will continue to support this product under the circumstances. It's already been passed around from company to company over the years.
        Rebecca Petris
        The Dry Eye Foundation
        dryeyefoundation.org
        800-484-0244

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        • #34
          Yes i keep expecting them to say that’s it, but they are staying firmly on the “it will be back” line. I’ve used them for over thirty years and there is nothing as good in my situation. I guess we van only wait and see and use whatever works, even if not as good, in the meantime. For me it is n-acetylcysteine drops three times a day and bion tears, as needed between. Often pitiing drops in 10-12 times a day but i can survive. I have tried so many options, including autologous drops so this is it for me unless we can get the Lacriserts backs. They truly are a miracle for those with severe problems.

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          • #35
            The president of the dry eye association of Spain, Eduardo Baroja created a video pleading with the company that makes Lacrisert. It is very well done and worth watching:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMe_S6_1XYQ

            Hopefully you are incorrect Rebecca, and the company will start making Lacrisert again in the near future.

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            • #36
              I spoke with B&L again. I have called them many times since they purchased "Lacrisert" as a result of similar shortages. They always seem to be a top notch company. I don't remember ever having to be on hold for long, and they always try to give you whatever information that they have.
              It seems they are "recertifying" with the FDA with a completely new manufacturing process because the previous supplier was not able to consistently deliver. Between when I first read about "discontinuing" Lacrisert last night and speaking with them today I was very depressed as I also have relied heavily on Lacrisert for about 20 years now. After speaking with them I am confident that they are going to continue to support the product. The date they gave for availability was second half of 2023. In the past their estimates were based on another party delivering for them, but it appear that the current estimate is for B&L actually producing the product themselves. This is a huge relief.

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              • #37
                That is really great news. I did not know B&L were considering manufacturing it themselves - if so that's obviously a best case scenario for the product's long term prospects and makes me happy!
                Rebecca Petris
                The Dry Eye Foundation
                dryeyefoundation.org
                800-484-0244

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                • #38
                  I keep asking via their FB page and have now linked the YouTube above a couple of times as i think it is very well said. Same answer every time. Late 2023. It’s good to know that others from other countries like Spain are also asking. I am in Australia. Such a fabulous product but clearly not a money maker for them or i think there would be more speed.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Mariez View Post
                    So it is December 12, 2021. Lacrisert is out of stock again. This product has suffered from chronic out of stocks over the years. I do not understand what it is so scarce and expensive. Call Bausch & Lomb and request that they find a way to manufacture it. It's just cellulose. Someone needs to develop an over the counter product and put it next to the eye drops in the retail aisle. And yes you can cut it in half to make it last. I use a razor blade. My doctor also prescribed an erythromycin ophthalmic ointment which I use at night if my eyes are dry and burning. It is available as a generic and is not expensive. Also, Norwegian cod liver oil has had a profound effect on my dry eyes. One tablespoon per day. I buy the liquid because I have trouble swallowing the gel caps.
                    Nail clippers work well too. Put the Lacrisert and the clippers in a plastic bag(hopefully sterile) to keep it from jumping across the room when you clip it. I always found it interesting that they seem to be variable in length(the Lacrisert). Am I correct about that ?

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                    • #40
                      I emailed B&L and they were very responsive. It sounds like they are working towards a resolution - restarting with a new supplier as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it still looks like the second half of 2023 before we see it.

                      I am now hoarding my few lacriserts left for the days I have to go into the office. I am cutting them in thirds and am feeling quite desperate. Are there any favorite drops that work better than others for those who have no tear production? Very discouraged. Literally for the first time since the 80s have I gone without the lacrisert and the thought of putting drops in every hour is very depressing.

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