I just need to get this off my chest. I have been trying to stay within the rules ever since I found out I needed injections eight years ago, but I find it increasingly difficult, expensive, and frustrating.
In the past eight years I have seen 10ml of cyanocobalamin increase from a price of $10 to $75. In that time there was also a massive shortage of supply. Both were a direct result of increased regulations on compounding pharmacies following the New England Compounding Pharmacy scandal, and more stringent inspection at the one and only manufacturer of cyanocobalamin in the US.
If it were just an increase in price and a temporary shortage of supply, I would chalk it up to unfortunate yet predictable cause and effect. However, I'm starting to suspect that the real goal is to severely limit availability of all forms of injectable B12 in the US. I don't know why anyone would think limiting a non-addictive, life-essential vitamin is a good idea, but it's the only explanation that makes any sense anymore.
Apparently the FDA is now beginning to enforce a requirement that only one month of injectable B12 be dispensed at a time. This increases the cost thanks to the extra cost of packaging the B12 in smaller vials. It also increases the inconvenience. It's a well known fact that the harder a medication is to obtain, the less likely the person who needs to take it will actually do so. So I guess the thinking at the FDA is, "Let's make a bunch of people who are too fatigued and brain foggy to think straight jump through a bunch of unnecessary hoops in order to get the vitamin that will keep them alive."
It's hard not to feel like there's a conspiracy going on when any sane person with common sense and knowledge about the effects of B12 deficiency would look at the current set of regulations and shake their head in amazement at how ludicrous the situation really is.
The next level of this particularly stinky onion is the fact that the supply shortage and cost increase of cyanocobalamin is what pushed me to agree to trying methylcobalamin instead. It's certainly not cheaper, but it's the go-to version of naturopaths since it is considered more bio-available. The trouble is that it is only available through one or two compounding pharmacies, the closest of which is hundreds of miles away from me. And that mandated health care I pay for? Yeah, it doesn't cover anything made by a compounding pharmacy. So there's that.
I am really tired of being jerked around by this system. I should not have to fight so hard for so long for access to an injectable that I need just to maintain the ability to function like a normal human being. I really don't understand why the FDA thinks a non-addictive vitamin that is impossible to overdose on needs to be so enthusiastically limited in availability. How can they all be so dense? What does it take to convince them to change the regulations?
I normally would not wish this condition on anyone, but in the context of educating the clearly under-informed regulators, I wish for them all to have B12 deficiency and for them all to have the same problems I've had getting proper treatment for it.
End of rant.