Drug Shortages impact hospitals and patients

   older woman benging downI've heard there is a shortage of crucial medicines in the US. What is the FDA doing and what are the answers?

Answer: 

emergency phone When we pick up the phone, we expect a dial tone. When we go to the hospital--we expect to be able to get the medicines we need. Unfortunately, a disturbing trend may make that not to be the case. For many years we've taken medicines for granted, but a disturbing increase in drug shortages in the US started by setting a record in 2010 and so far in 2011, the situation has gotten worse.

This has and is continuing to influence hospitals and patients more than ever before. Surprisingly, the shortages cross into the most crucial medicines such as anesthetics and cancer treatments.

Visit www.fda.gov to view the current shortage list. The FDA will had a 30-minute webinar on September 30, 2011 at 11 AM. Captain Valerie Jensen, the associate director of CDER will talk about the extent of the shortage and the crucial importance of communication. The link is https://collaboration.fda.gov/drugshort/

For now, if you are scheduled to start a chemotherapy or other critical treatment with multiple cycles, be sure to ask your doctor if there is adequate supply of the medicine being selected. Many times there acceptable alternatives, yet stories are emerging of patients having interruptions in treatment. There is a weekly drug shortage update on the FDA site...once again, that is www.fda.gov.

This website is not intended as medical advice, and you should consult your doctor before changing or adding any medicines or vitamins to those you may now be taking and about applying any strategies BEFORE you adopt any approach in this report. While diligent care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information provided during the preparation of this edition, no claim is made that all known actions, uses or side effects, strategies for cost containment, targets or cholesterol pathways are included in this report. The accuracy and currentness of information are ever subject to change relative to new guidelines, new information derived from drug research, development and general usage.