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Transderm Patch Delayed Again

February 11, 1996|KATHLEEN DOHENY

Production of Transderm Scop--the behind-the-ear patch worn by those prone to motion sickness--has been pushed back yet again.

It will be at least 1997 before the product is shipped to pharmacies, according to Eric Jackson, spokesman for CIBA Consumer Pharmaceuticals, the New Jersey-based manufacturer of the prescription-only, dime-sized patch.

Production of Transderm Scop, impregnated with scopolamine, was halted in mid-1994. The company previously expected to have the patch back on the market by late 1995 but later amended that date to mid-1996. CIBA cites production problems as the reason for withdrawal of the patch, originally introduced in 1980.

The likelihood of finding supplies of the patch, which has a shelf life of three years, in the U.S. or abroad is slim, according to pharmacists and the manufacturer.

However, travelers may find some relief at compounding pharmacies where pharmacists make up prescriptions in different formulas and doses than are available from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Compounding pharmacies, which require a doctor's prescription, report a brisk business in scopolamine gel, which is applied to the wrist. It works in much the same way as the medicated patch to relieve symptoms. A dose lasts from 6 to 12 hours and costs about $3.50 or $4. For updates on the patch's availability, call CIBA's consumer information line, (800) 452-0051.

Information on scopalamine gel is available from compounding pharmacies such as Panorama Pharmacy, Panorama City, (800) 247-9767 and B&B Pharmacy, Bellflower, (800) 231-8905.

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