Shortage of Minesse Birth-control Pills

There is a shortage of Minesse birth-control pills, marketed by Neopharm. Minesse is  a "new generation" pill featuring low doses of hormones. Despite being a relatively new product in Israel, available only since 2003, it has become one of the most popular.

Pharmacist Gadi Shor of the Shor-Tabachnik pharmacy in Tel Aviv says the shortage has been felt for about a month.

"About ten women a day ask me if we have the pill. I can't help them, because it has no generic substitute with the same composition, which could be given in its stead. They have to go to the doctor for a new prescription," Shor says.

Often, though, women go to the drugstore for more pills about when the old package runs out, he says. Then they have a problem.

He says he can't remember a shortage like this of pills, except in cases of prescriptions that were withdrawn from marketing.

Neopharm did not answer TheMarker's questions about the shortage, saying only that an urgent shipment of Minesse arrived at the start of the week and is undergoing Health Ministry processing. As soon as the Health Ministry permit arrives, the pills will be distributed to its stores throughout Israel, the company said.