Testosterone back in stock after stockout

Solidarity march at UCT to raise awareness about drug shortage

Photo of protesters

Rebecca Pretorius, a trans woman, leads a trans solidarity march of about 50 people at the University of Cape Town. The march was Organised by Rainbow UCT. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

By Ashraf Hendricks

27 March 2019

Depo-Testosterone, the hormone treatment manufactured by Pfizer is once again back in stock after a nationwide shortage.

Depo-Testosterone, which is the brand name for testosterone cypionate injections, is used by some transgender people and has to be used consistently throughout one’s life. Men who do not produce enough natural testosterone and boys with delayed puberty also use it.

Charmaine Motloung, Pfizer communications manager, said that the supply had been restored and that “most pharmacies have been receiving stock from distributors and wholesalers from last week.”

In a statement on 15 March, Pfizer said that the shortage was outside its control.

Seth Deacon, an organiser at Unite4Transrights, said that he was glad the drug was back in stock. But, he said, this was not the first stockout. “There is no accountability.”

Deacon said he had friends who had been off medication for two months.

Since June last year, Deacon has been using Depo-Testosterone in his transition. When the shortage came into effect his doctor recommended Nebido. But Nebido was not supported by medical aid and it cost him R2,400 for 10ml from his medical savings. Depo-Testosterone costs R400 for the same amount.