Why is there a shortage of Testosterone? A shortfall of Testosterone due to a manufacturing hold has kept many transgender patients from getting their prescriptions filled. This shortage is one of the numerous challenges trans people face while managing a profit-driven healthcare system. Thus, their physical autonomy is in danger with every volatile market condition.
The issue came to light in New York City in August 2019 after several transmasculine people (a term that includes trans men) told their doctors at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. They reported that they were having difficulty getting their hormone prescriptions filled.
There are always shortages, not only in transgender health care. In the American pharmaceutical industry, they occur regularly. In 2019, when this shortage happened, there was a shortage of more than 200 FDA-approved medications.
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Who manufactures Testosterone?
In South Africa, the health department purchases Testosterone for tertiary and district hospitals because it is included in the necessary medications for these institutions. The primary androgen is called Testosterone. It is essential for stimulating the development of male characteristics. People assigned AMAB (assigned male by birth) have naturally higher testosterone levels than those set AFAB (assigned female at birth).
Every day, Pfizer CenterOne testosterone hormone APIs are used in therapies to treat a patient. For decades, Pfizer CenterOne, a U.S.-based manufacturer, has consistently manufactured and supplied economic volumes of Testosterone to top pharmaceutical companies. Androderm, AndroGel, Fortesta, Testim, Depo-Testosterone, Testopel, Aveed, Natesto, Vogelxo, Xyosted, Jatenzo, Tlando, and Kyzatrex are some of the trade names for Testosterone.
Males who need testosterone replacement therapy should take the androgen “testosterone.” Male hypogonadism, a disorder in which the body doesn’t make sufficient Testosterone, is treated with it. Male hypogonadism can be acquired (from injury or infection) or genetic (existing at birth).
According to the Controlled Substances Act, Testosterone is a Schedule III controlled drug. To prevent issues, Testosterone should be kept in a secure location. There are several dosage types of Testosterone. Some trademarked goods might also be offered in generic form.
Testosterone shortage 2023
Since 2020, there has been a shortage of affordable Testosterone. As mentioned earlier, it is a medication used by trans men and transgender individuals for hormone replacement therapy. This issue forces patients throughout Mexico to either increase their spending or stop their treatment.
Patients across the nation have reported a shortage of 250 milligrams of testosterone enanthate, which public hospitals provide to trans people. Also, it is the least expensive for those who don’t qualify to receive it for free. According to the Cero Desabasto collective, an umbrella group of patient and doctor institutions that supervises medicine shortages.
Even those who can receive free access still rely on this resource. This is because they need to be made aware of it or are unwilling to use a government agency to access it.
In July 2023, the shortfall is predicted to end. This is a stock update report that Fezeka Dlikilili, the conference coordinator for Pfizer in Johannesburg, gave to Bhekisisa (an independent non-profit organization registered with the South African government).
Is Testosterone discontinued?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that only men with low testosterone levels caused by particular medical disorders are eligible to take prescription testosterone supplements. The FDA has determined that using Testosterone may result in a higher cardiovascular risk.
Par Pharmaceuticals, in New Jersey, decided to stop producing testosterone gel. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported this recall on April 29, 2019.
Due to its potentially harmful side effects, the medicine has been criticized. The U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) claim that testosterone gel can spread from one person to another who contacts the patient’s skin in the area where the gel has already been applied. Any woman who is or might become pregnant, or nursing must avoid contact with this drug at all costs. This is because it can harm an unborn child or a nursing infant.
Children who come into contact with testosterone gel are also more likely to suffer from severe adverse effects. Increased erections, hair development, and an aggressive attitude are possible side effects. In addition to raising the risk of prostate cancer, long-term use in men could also increase the probability of cardiovascular issues.
Why is Testosterone out of stock?
The lack of accessible Testosterone has hindered trans men and transmasculine people’s physical and physiological progress in therapy.
Four drugs are permitted for sale in the country. They are Sostenon 250, Lowtiyel, Nebido, and Primoteston Depot. The drugs mainly treat male hypogonadism (low or no testosterone production that occurs only in cisgender men). They are not necessary for hormone replacement treatment, even though it is an approved use for them.
When the body cannot produce enough of the hormone testosterone naturally, Primoteston Depot is used to replace it. Primoteston Depot, a very cheap medicine, is currently unavailable primarily due to supply chain difficulties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Bayer, the firm that makes Primoteston Depot, stated in July 2022 that the delays had affected the company’s capacity to distribute the medication. This disruption occurs not only in Mexico but throughout Latin America and worldwide.
A prolonged testosterone shortage could have terrible consequences for trans guys and other transmasculine people who have had their ovaries removed. Their bodies won’t be able to make enough hormones without ovaries, which puts them at risk for osteoporosis and other illnesses.
Because only injectable forms of Testosterone are affected, plenty of distribution options will be available. The current scarcity is anticipated to be short enough to threaten such people. However, it still can interfere with many people’s transitions, particularly those who are low-income and already having a tough time getting access to hormones.