For those of us who suffer with migraines, the world can be a very trying place. People like me, who work in front of a huge, bright computer screen at least eight hours a day, can sometimes only find relief in lying down in a dark room or taking a favorite brand of headache medicine. Anything less makes for a miserable, sometimes torturous, day. That's why the Excedrin recall has so many people upset.
Novartis, the maker of Excedrin and several other well-known over-the-counter drugs, announced the recall over six months ago after issues at its production facility in Nebraska lent themselves to contamination. All these weeks later, the medicine still isn't back on the shelves, and users want to know why.
"I haven't found another medication that works, and I just kind of try to treat the symptoms," said Erin Terjesen. "I'm not sure what to do now when my headaches come back."
Terjesen isn't alone. Millions of Americans suffer from varying degrees of migraine pain, and not everyone can afford to seek a doctor's help for a prescription. Excedrin has been a lifesaver for many, as it contains equal amounts of aspirin and acetaminophen as well as a strong dose of caffeine in one pill. That means not having to take several different drugs at once or mixing doses. With demand for the drug strongly outweighing the supply, those who are desperate for relief are turning to online auction sites such as Ebay for the pills, which have gone for a staggering $150 a box. A quick search of the site turned up examples such as this, with a box of 100 tablets going for a whopping $130.
While Novartis says they are working on getting the affected products back on the market, it will be a while because they want to take their time to ensure everything is done safely. It could be the end of the year before migraine sufferers see an end to their pain that doesn't involve parting with a lot of cash.