Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2-22-11 Isotretinoin

It's not called Accutane anymore. Roche Pharmaceuticals gave up the manufacture and distribution in the U.S. in 2009, but the patents have expired, so it's available under a variety of other brand names now.

But "available" is not quite accurate, because getting CIA clearance is about as easy as getting this drug. Samantha had to go through blood labs, urine tests, and two dermatologist appointments in addition to an online test in order to get her first round. We should have been mailed a password when we set up her account, only to find this out today, when we had a seven day window to fill the prescription or start all over. (We got that worked out over the phone.)

So now she has a thirty day supply of a drug that promises to flare up her acne terribly in the first month and dry her out like the Sahara. And then? We do it all again for the next month.

Every month she has to go to the lab to get blood drawn, go to the dermatologist for urine testing and lab results, and take an online test through the government mandated iPledge program to qualify for the next month's supply.

It's also used to treat brain and pancreatic cancers.


But after months of exhausting all other options, I have a very excited teenager hoping in a few months this will all be worth it.


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