Asacol is being discontinued!

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sfc425
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 379
   Posted 4/1/2013 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   
From the Delzicol website:

Indication

DELZICOL™ (mesalamine) delayed-release capsules are available only by prescription for the treatment of mildly to moderately active ulcerative colitis (UC) and for the maintenance of remission of UC in adults.

ASACOL® (mesalamine) delayed-release tablets are for the treatment of mildly to moderately active ulcerative colitis (UC) and the maintenance of remission of UC.

DELZICOL™ (mesalamine) delayed-release capsules have been shown to be equivalent to ASACOL® (mesalamine) delayed-release tablets.


So one would assume this will be as good if not better, no?
28 Year Old Male. Diagnosed with UC in early 2006. Remission soon after diagnosis with treatment of Asacol. Eventually symptoms went away until mid 2010. Minor flareup mostly in remission with use of Asacol HD and then Apriso. Also living with Hiatal Hernia and GERD.

Taking: Asacol HD (2 pills, 3X daily), VSL#3 Tablets (2X day). Librax (2X day), Omeprazole (1X daily) for GERD.

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3766
   Posted 4/1/2013 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hopefully it will work the same. The fact is we dont know...that is why some of us are scared.
29 years old; diagnosed pancolitis March 2007

Started first course of pred 2-19-13 (40 mg), currently on 10 mg. Asacol, 6 tabs, 2xday; Rowasa nightly; Canasa in a.m. as needed for flares; Ortho Tri-Cyclen; Singulair; Allegra; Deva multivitamin; B-12. Vegan diet.

"I know you're tired, but come, this is the way." - Rumi

sfc425
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 379
   Posted 4/1/2013 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I understand that. But I don't think it would be good business to discontinue one drug in favor of another that is less effective.
28 Year Old Male. Diagnosed with UC in early 2006. Remission soon after diagnosis with treatment of Asacol. Eventually symptoms went away until mid 2010. Minor flareup mostly in remission with use of Asacol HD and then Apriso. Also living with Hiatal Hernia and GERD.

Taking: Asacol HD (2 pills, 3X daily), VSL#3 Tablets (2X day). Librax (2X day), Omeprazole (1X daily) for GERD.

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3766
   Posted 4/1/2013 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, however it has happened before with Colazal.
29 years old; diagnosed pancolitis March 2007

Started first course of pred 2-19-13 (40 mg), currently on 10 mg. Asacol, 6 tabs, 2xday; Rowasa nightly; Canasa in a.m. as needed for flares; Ortho Tri-Cyclen; Singulair; Allegra; Deva multivitamin; B-12. Vegan diet.

"I know you're tired, but come, this is the way." - Rumi

Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 4414
   Posted 4/1/2013 11:20 PM (GMT -6)   
It does sound like there's a similarity to what happened in late 2011-early 2012 with brandname Colazal shortages and sudden discontinuation notice. Asacol has already come out with an HD-product. Colazal's manufacturer was planning to produce an HD form to be called Giazo. (Colazal is a capsule; Giazo would be a tablet. Asacol is a tablet, but you say that Delzicol will be a capsule [?]) Essentially, the big pharmas play around with production to stay competitive and max-out profit margins! You could contact the office of Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar to ask about legislation she introduced in the Senate to curb such potentially harmful pharmaceutical practices as withdrawing drugs from production w/o advance notice. This became a big issue in medical practice last yr-- because IV leukemia meds were severely affected. (My gastro told me about it before major media reports picked up.) / Old Hat (32 yrs with left-sided UC; presently in remission taking brandname Colazal)

tap
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 446
   Posted 4/2/2013 7:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I found this amusing quote with respect to Delzicol.

Reuters Article said...
"The FDA did not want us to have two products in the marketplace, because that would cause confusion to the patients," Chief Executive Roger Boissonneault said on a conference call to analysts. [Reuters Article]

Here is another article I found noting the differences between Delzicol and Asacol.
Benzinga Article said...
Morgan Stanley analysts said, "After perusing Delzicol(new Asacol)'s label, we believe that it may not qualify for any marketing exclusivity, implying that WCRX's time to effect conversion from Asacol may be very limited." The firm believes the major difference between the labels "is that Asacol tablets contain dibutyl phthalate as an inactive ingredient while Delzicol capsules contain dibutyl sebacate." [Benzinga Article]

The safety information for Delzicol notes that it used Asacol's studies for the basis of its approval rather than performing additional studies to confirm its safety and efficacy.
47 - male - Diagnosed with pancolitis in 1998
Status: 1 stool a day
Vitamin D3 - 10000 IU three times per week (Status: 65 ng/ML);
Asacol - 2 400mg pills 3 times per day

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3766
   Posted 4/2/2013 7:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh thats just great!!! No safety studies. Wow.
29 years old; diagnosed pancolitis March 2007

Started first course of pred 2-19-13 (40 mg), currently on 10 mg. Asacol, 6 tabs, 2xday; Rowasa nightly; Canasa in a.m. as needed for flares; Ortho Tri-Cyclen; Singulair; Allegra; Deva multivitamin; B-12. Vegan diet.

"I know you're tired, but come, this is the way." - Rumi

Old Hat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 4414
   Posted 4/2/2013 9:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Yep, Salix was trying to get Giazo approved based on past studies-- though it obviously differs from brandname Colazal. / Old Hat (32 yrs with left-sided UC; presently in remission taking brandname Colazal)

ScienceGirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 4/2/2013 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry for assuming this was an April Fool's Day joke--the timing of the post, plus the lack of information available online made it pretty unbelievable!

I had an appointment today and asked my doctor about it. He said that it's not really a thing--the manufacturer just doesn't want to keep making the 400mg pills anymore, probably because they're not as profitable as they once were. Delzicol is essentially the same thing (and I wouldn't really worry so much about the inactive ingredients, which would already have been tested for safety). However, Asacol HD (800mg tablets) will still be manufactured. It's the same thing as regular Asacol, but it's twice the amount of medicine (and twice the size).

So if you're taking 6 Asacol tabs a day, you could switch to Asacol HD and just take 3. Voila.
26yo female
Diagnosed with moderate pancolitic UC 10/07
Updated to severe 2/13 after flex sig + biopsies
Flares: 8/07-12/07, 7/10-1/11, 2/12-ongoing
Currently taking: Asacol HD 6x/day (reduced to 4x/day--ear problems), 6MP 50mg/day
Remicade: 3/6/13, 3/18/13

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6380
   Posted 4/2/2013 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
great information from this board as usual! I'll call my doc before my next prescription and ask for him to research the best option for me. I think it would be Asacol HD. Thanks so much everyone!

IndianaUC
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 4/2/2013 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
A good healthy debate can bring out some useful information. For example, I didn't know that many people didn't do well on Balsalazide vrs Colazal. I am not improving since being taken off Sulfasalazine and put on Balsalazide...in fact I've gotten sicker. I just left a message with my doctor's nurse line to put me on anything else because this isn't working. I have an appointment on the 15th, but doubt I'll make it that far.

stereofidelic89
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 1906
   Posted 4/2/2013 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   
ScienceGirl said...
However, Asacol HD (800mg tablets) will still be manufactured. It's the same thing as regular Asacol, but it's twice the amount of medicine (and twice the size).



BLESS YOUR SWEET SWEET HEART! I am taking Asacol HD 1 (800mg) tablet daily.

I often wonder when I do decide to get off Asacol HD if Asacol (400mg) pills would be help me taper... but now that doesn't seem like an option.

DBwithUC
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1435
   Posted 4/2/2013 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
The pharmaceutical industry is basically private enterprise. You cannot compel a company to continue making a drug after their patent protection runs out. The only thing you could do is entice them by extending their patent - but hen no generic.

I guess we could pass a law that a company cannot discontinue a drug until a generic comes on market, but then we would have big-bad-government interfering in the private marketplace.

BUT GUESS WHAT? THEY AREN'T. - Some folks here are just panic mongering fools that cant use google to find basic info.

The company that makes Asacol is made by Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. The new drug Delzicol is made by Warner Chilcott (US), LLC.

So as one company predictably decides to discontinue a drug when their patent expires, you see another company trying to help launch its new product by saying "aw, no Asacol. DOn't worry. We are almost the same, only better."

So all this talk of "this is bullcrap" and "TEHY" are doing this ... e.g., THEY are discontinuing Asacol, and THEY are pointing to a new drug" - well I think you shoudl disregard most of the stuff that follows in sentences that begin with vague unspecific THEYs.

I might favor a law that prohibited a company's marketing arm from pointing to their new patent drug when ending production on an old one. But that is not happening here.

You could make a law that prohibited new name-brand drugs tryingto capitalize on unease when a popular drug goes generic - but that limits free speech.


Anyway, it make sense that a generic manufacturer will also try to capture the Asacol market. It also makes sense that there may be some disruption in supply while the original manufacturer exits and one or more generic manufactures enter.

There are almost no studies comparing one form of melsalamine to another. Almost every one came to market compared to a placebo, or to some old generic type. I can recall a study that compared the MMX matrix of Lialda to the enteric coating of some other brand. Usually they just demonstrate that concentrations are higher where they say the release is designed to hit.

We could make a law that after phase-III trials, new phase-IV trials have to show it is significantly better than the drugs already on the market, but that seems like it would only make FDA approval even longer.

While there are accounts of one form/pill/brand working better for some, I think for may people alternate forms might work as well or better. I have started to notice some occasional intact Lialda in poop, so I'm considering lowering the Lialda dose and adding in some form of 5-asa that released differently - jut to cover my bases/colon.

tap
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 446
   Posted 4/2/2013 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I used Google to get some basic info...

"The acquisition of The Procter & Gamble Company's global branded pharmaceuticals business on October 30, 2009 transformed Warner Chilcott into a global pharmaceuticals company with significant scale and geographic reach." (Investor Relations)

xeekk
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 238
   Posted 4/2/2013 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Why would you think discontinuing Asacol would result of no generic? A generic is made by a different company than the original manufacturer when the patents have run out. Someone can still make a generic if they want at the right time.

sfc425
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 379
   Posted 4/2/2013 6:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Not that there's any need to clear this up any more, but my GI confirmed this today as well.
28 Year Old Male. Diagnosed with UC in early 2006. Remission soon after diagnosis with treatment of Asacol. Eventually symptoms went away until mid 2010. Minor flareup mostly in remission with use of Asacol HD and then Apriso. Also living with Hiatal Hernia and GERD.

Taking: Asacol HD (2 pills, 3X daily), VSL#3 Tablets (2X day). Librax (2X day), Omeprazole (1X daily) for GERD.

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3766
   Posted 4/2/2013 7:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Told you I wasnt lying.

With the generic thing...i dont know...because there making an almost identical drug I guess.
29 years old; diagnosed pancolitis March 2007

Started first course of pred 2-19-13 (40 mg), currently on 10 mg. Asacol, 6 tabs, 2xday; Rowasa nightly; Canasa in a.m. as needed for flares; Ortho Tri-Cyclen; Singulair; Allegra; Deva multivitamin; B-12. Vegan diet.

"I know you're tired, but come, this is the way." - Rumi

sfc425
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 379
   Posted 4/2/2013 7:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Haha, I didn't think you were lying. But yes, you did "tell me so."
28 Year Old Male. Diagnosed with UC in early 2006. Remission soon after diagnosis with treatment of Asacol. Eventually symptoms went away until mid 2010. Minor flareup mostly in remission with use of Asacol HD and then Apriso. Also living with Hiatal Hernia and GERD.

Taking: Asacol HD (2 pills, 3X daily), VSL#3 Tablets (2X day). Librax (2X day), Omeprazole (1X daily) for GERD.

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3766
   Posted 4/2/2013 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
On page one you implied i was making it all up but whatever.
29 years old; diagnosed pancolitis March 2007

Started first course of pred 2-19-13 (40 mg), currently on 10 mg. Asacol, 6 tabs, 2xday; Rowasa nightly; Canasa in a.m. as needed for flares; Ortho Tri-Cyclen; Singulair; Allegra; Deva multivitamin; B-12. Vegan diet.

"I know you're tired, but come, this is the way." - Rumi

sfc425
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 379
   Posted 4/2/2013 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I suggested that you didn't have all of the information, which nobody, including your GI or mine, does at this time.

This thread is pretty much entirely speculation about what this means and what comes next. That was my point. I didn't intend to make this a semantic discussion.
28 Year Old Male. Diagnosed with UC in early 2006. Remission soon after diagnosis with treatment of Asacol. Eventually symptoms went away until mid 2010. Minor flareup mostly in remission with use of Asacol HD and then Apriso. Also living with Hiatal Hernia and GERD.

Taking: Asacol HD (2 pills, 3X daily), VSL#3 Tablets (2X day). Librax (2X day), Omeprazole (1X daily) for GERD.

sfc425
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 379
   Posted 4/2/2013 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
You're pretty defensive. Please accept my apologies. I hope that we are both okay and able to continue taking medications that help us.

sfc425
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 379
   Posted 4/2/2013 11:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm in the same boat as you. Note that I was just told today that I may have Crohn's and have been prescribed steroids for the first time - right after moving to a different state. I take Asacol and am obsessive compulsive about what I put into my body so a new drug is something that gives me a lot of anxiety. My skepticism on the first page was meant to be a form of optimism that perhaps Delzicol will help us more than Asacol. Or perhaps you will benefit from Asacol HD, if that stays on the market like it appears it will.

I would never say anything to intentionally discourage anyone here. We are all fighting our own battles with IBD. I come here to get and give support as best I can, not to argue.
28 Year Old Male. Diagnosed with UC in early 2006. Remission soon after diagnosis with treatment of Asacol. Eventually symptoms went away until mid 2010. Minor flareup mostly in remission with use of Asacol HD and then Apriso. Also living with Hiatal Hernia and GERD.

Taking: Asacol HD (2 pills, 3X daily), VSL#3 Tablets (2X day). Librax (2X day), Omeprazole (1X daily) for GERD.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6380
   Posted 4/3/2013 7:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey, the good part is that all of us are now aware that Asacol will not be available so we should start researching what med would be best for us -- and if there will be a generic, that's great too. I believe I'm better off today because I can prepare myself for the discontinuation of Asacol. Thanks to all of you for a great discussion!

ScienceGirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 4/3/2013 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Relax. Asacol HD will still be available; if your OCD doesn't make it possible for you to take another form of mesalamine, Asacol HD is absolutely the same drug, just twice as much at a time. It even looks like one Asacol 400mg pill swallowed another, which is basically what it is.

And again, once the patent expires, it's hugely likely that generics will get made. Discontinuing Asacol doesn't mean that generics can't be made.
26yo female
Diagnosed with moderate pancolitic UC 10/07
Updated to severe 2/13 after flex sig + biopsies
Flares: 8/07-12/07, 7/10-1/11, 2/12-ongoing
Currently taking: Asacol HD 6x/day (reduced to 4x/day--ear problems), 6MP 50mg/day
Remicade: 3/6/13, 3/18/13

quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25158
   Posted 4/3/2013 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Asacol 400mg generic has been available in Canada since late 2012...I'm using the Novo-5ASA, and so far so good.

Strange it's available here and not in the US initially..
Hopefully, it will be soon.

q
*Heather* I give suggestions, do with them what you will.
Status: ...Asacol 3 @ 2x daily; Salofalk enema @ 3rd night (nightly/ flares, tapered/maintenance)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol 20mg as needed; Zantac 150mg; Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma);Effexor XR 37.5 (depression)
~vitamins/minerals/supplements; Probiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care+Primadophilus Reuteri capsules @ bedtime)
~Metamucil capsules 6 twice daily with meals; Vitamin D 4500 IU
~URSO for PBC(or PSC?) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS" worth it !!!
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