Lidocaine Injection in Eye Care - Shop Shortages with Stag

If you’re an eye doctor, technician or work in the medical industry, you’re probably aware of the national lidocaine shortage and how frustrating this is.  We will always focus on the greed in this industry, but have you considered why there is a shortage? Covid? Staffing shortages? Joe Biden? Donald Trump? What is it.

Well the answer is very straight forward as to why eye care providers, or really any medical provider cannot find lidocaine. Profits. Lidocaine is a medication that has a very low sticker price. With these low costs, and low margins, manufacturers much rather make a product that has a huge margin. They have shut down manufacturing. No heads up, no slowing down the process. Now - smaller manufacturers would be thrilled with these margins as there is obviously the demand for it in the eye care industry. As we sit, we are in the middle between large and small manufacturers.  Did they just ignore the fact of how widespread the use of lidocaine is in the eye care industry? Have you paid way more than you ever should have for Lidocaine 1%?

As an eye care vendor who can get products other vendors cannot, we have had no luck. We did not even mark up our lidocaine as others did when we had it. Yet, many customers only use Stag Medical when the big vendors cannot help them. Why? Beats me. Hopefully, there will be some lidocaine back in the ophthalmic supply industry soon. I’ve been receiving emails about the shortage for awhile now. J

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) states that the current number of lidocaine products on the drug shortage list are between 75 and 100 lidocaine all of which are made by a multiple pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The list of products affected includes:

  • 1 - 2% lidocaine hydrochloride topical jellies

  • 1 - 7.5% lidocaine injections

  • Lidocaine hydrochloride and 5% injections

  • Xylocaineand lidocaine hydrochloride injections

  • Lidocaine with epinephrine injections

Safe Alternatives

In some cases there’s simply not a good substitute for lidocaine.
Fortunately, there is some good news at the end of the tunnel with the national lidocaine shortage. Estimated to become more available in December, but they have lied before. Best of luck in your quest and we will help as always. 


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