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Hospitals Scrambling for Medications Amid Growing Drug Shortage
Fox News ^ | 5/30/2001 | AP Staff

Posted on 05/30/2011 9:01:22 AM PDT by TennesseeGirl

WASHINGTON -- A growing shortage of medications for a host of illnesses -- from cancer to cystic fibrosis to cardiac arrest -- has hospitals scrambling for substitutes to avoid patient harm, and sometimes even delaying treatment.

"It's just a matter of time now before we call for a drug that we need to save a patient's life and we find out there isn't any," says Dr. Eric Lavonas of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

The problem of scarce supplies or even completely unavailable medications isn't a new one but it's getting markedly worse. The number listed in short supply has tripled over the past five years, to a record 211 medications last year.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/05/30/hospitals-scramble-medications-amid-growing-drug-shortage/#ixzz1Nr3MhZfO

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: drugshortage; hospital; medication; patient; shortage
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"The FDA has taken an unusual step, asking some foreign companies to temporarily ship to the U.S. their own versions of some scarce drugs that aren't normally sold here. That eased shortages of propofol, a key anesthesia drug, and the transplant drug thiotepa."

Remember when we were told NOT to order meds online -- even from Canada -- or else we were all going to die from substandard pharmaceuticals?

1 posted on 05/30/2011 9:01:26 AM PDT by TennesseeGirl
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To: TennesseeGirl

cut the time between the created drug and the generic.


2 posted on 05/30/2011 9:05:11 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: TennesseeGirl

Obamacare will fix these problems. </sarc.>


3 posted on 05/30/2011 9:05:29 AM PDT by wjcsux ("In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell)
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To: Sacajaweau

“cut the time between the created drug and the generic.”

Then why will drug companies create new drugs?


4 posted on 05/30/2011 9:09:59 AM PDT by willk
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To: TennesseeGirl

Note to self - don’t get sick and if I do get sick don’t do it after 3 pm on a Friday.


5 posted on 05/30/2011 9:11:39 AM PDT by bgill (Kenyan Parliament - how could a man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
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To: TennesseeGirl
Remember when we were told NOT to order meds online -- even from Canada -- or else we were all going to die from substandard pharmaceuticals?

I was thinking the same thing as I read this.. also came to my mind most drugs are not even produced here anymore.. they are made in China .. China could just cut off the supply if they wished..

6 posted on 05/30/2011 9:13:28 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: ExTexasRedhead

If this is what’s happening before ObamaCare, I dread what’ll happen after it takes effect.


7 posted on 05/30/2011 9:13:49 AM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Muslims are a people of love, peace, and goodwill, and if you say that they aren't, they'll kill you)
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To: TennesseeGirl

So FedGov messes with the FDA regs to delay new meds and cut the supply of others.

Be prepared for FedGov to step in with EMERGENCY LAWS that must be passed without review, to fix the Crisis (that they created).


8 posted on 05/30/2011 9:15:31 AM PDT by DBrow
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To: TennesseeGirl

Think of all the different “shortages” that have been reported lately. The politicians with their incompetent demagoguery, taxes, laws and regulations are killing our economy. You can be sure the politician and his immediate family and friends will have any and all necessary medicines. Perhaps when enough people watch their loved one’s die for lack of medicine while they see fat degenerate pols living like kings they will take the “pols” naked to the wall.


9 posted on 05/30/2011 9:16:50 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: TennesseeGirl
I along with others here on FR... predicted this... and it is going to get worse and it will be more than medicine in short supply. Yes Virginia... elections do have consequences.

LLS

10 posted on 05/30/2011 9:20:08 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer ("If you lie hard enough and sell your soul... you can scam your way to the top" barack obama)
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To: TennesseeGirl
Some experts pointedly note that pricier brand-name drugs seldom are in short supply. The Food and Drug Administration agrees that the overarching problem is that fewer and fewer manufacturers produce these older, cheaper generic drugs, especially the harder-to-make injectable ones. So if one company has trouble -- or decides to quit making a particular drug -- there are few others able to ramp up their own production to fill the gap, says Valerie Jensen, who heads FDA's shortage office.

This is the main paragraph. What happens is that generics are cheaper -- and since they are cheaper, and carry such a narrow profit margin, companies are not going to jump to make them.

Meanwhile, cash-strapped hospitals are not going to maintain inventories of critical meds, instead depending on "just in time" deliveries. And distributors are not going to maintain inventories, due to how IRS taxes inventory as assets at the end of the fiscal year. So any interruption of the distribution chain means that people will die.

11 posted on 05/30/2011 9:24:49 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: willk

They won’t create any new drugs. They will go Galt. I can’t imagine any conservative suggesting this.


12 posted on 05/30/2011 9:26:17 AM PDT by malos (Call Me Inpressed)
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To: Sacajaweau
cut the time between the created drug and the generic.

Did you read the article? It is the GENERIC drugs that are in short supply, due to non-viable profit margins. See my post #11.

13 posted on 05/30/2011 9:26:54 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: PapaBear3625

The problem is the FDA. When it costs a pharma $500 million to $1 billion to get a drug to market, there’s a serious problem. Get the gov. out of the way and reduce the time and money it takes to get a viable, effective drug to the patients.


14 posted on 05/30/2011 9:28:25 AM PDT by tenger (It's a good thing we don't get all the government we pay for. -Will Rogers)
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To: LibLieSlayer
I was just informed that my one B/P med, dyazide is no longer available...been taking it for 15 years!!! was told to call my doctor and request a replacement...

wake up voters...Hussein Obama has got to be returned to Chicago or maybe Hawaii or Kenya in 2012 if not sooner.

15 posted on 05/30/2011 9:28:50 AM PDT by haircutter
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To: TennesseeGirl

All brought to you by Obamacare, one way or another.


16 posted on 05/30/2011 9:29:28 AM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: LibLieSlayer
We are seeing drug shortages and logarithmic escalations of prices for existing drugs in the veterinary field also. It seems every week we cannot get another drug that was readily available just months ago. Right now, we can use drugs extra label which means in innovative methods. I have seen eye ointment, triple antibiotic, go from $1.10 a tube to $12 a tube in just the last year. It is hard explaining to clients that we can't lose money selling them drugs they could previously obtain at a price ten times cheaper.
17 posted on 05/30/2011 9:29:55 AM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: Sacajaweau
The drugs in short supply are already generic. The drugmakers have bigger fish to fry. Drugs still on patent yield much higher profits.

Injectable drugs have to be sterile and meet high purity standards. When they go off patent, they are even less attractive for the drug houses to devote production to.

18 posted on 05/30/2011 9:32:59 AM PDT by Dick Holmes
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To: TennesseeGirl

Something tells me that ultimately this pertains to a combination of overregulation, insane tort laws and ambulance-chasing lawyers. If it doesn’t pay to produce it, nobody is going to produce it.


19 posted on 05/30/2011 9:34:11 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: wjcsux
Obamacare will fix these problems.

It will be conveyed as "If you think the shortage is bad NOW, just think how bad the shortage would be if Obama wasn't promoting government health care!"

20 posted on 05/30/2011 9:35:03 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: TennesseeGirl

We are on the slippery socialistic slope to third world mediocrity. Thanks, libs, thanks, progressives, thanks Marxists, thanks ignorant lazy voters!


21 posted on 05/30/2011 9:36:07 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: tenger
The problem is the FDA. When it costs a pharma $500 million to $1 billion to get a drug to market, there’s a serious problem. Get the gov. out of the way and reduce the time and money it takes to get a viable, effective drug to the patients.

A bigger problem is the tort lawyers. A big part of that $1B is making enough clinical tests to try to convince a jury that the company did all it could to anticipate adverse effects.

Tort reform would be needed, where jury awards would be capped at $1M for death/total-disability due to adverse drug effect, and going down from there.

22 posted on 05/30/2011 9:37:38 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: TennesseeGirl
Follow the money. Always.

From the article:   "Some experts pointedly note that pricier brand-name drugs seldom are in short supply. The Food and Drug Administration agrees that the overarching problem is that fewer and fewer manufacturers produce these older, cheaper generic drugs,"

23 posted on 05/30/2011 9:38:41 AM PDT by Lady Jag (Keep the 'ICk" in Democratic)
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To: Don Corleone
We are on the slippery socialistic slope to third world mediocrity. Thanks, libs, thanks, progressives, thanks Marxists, thanks ignorant lazy voters!

No truer words were every said.

24 posted on 05/30/2011 9:45:20 AM PDT by The Duke
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To: Sacajaweau

Humm, don’t you think that it may make the problem worse?


25 posted on 05/30/2011 9:48:10 AM PDT by WHBates
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To: TennesseeGirl

Big Pharma’s revenge: You WILL use our overpriced drugs or YOU WILL die!


26 posted on 05/30/2011 9:53:07 AM PDT by upchuck (Think you know hardship? Ha! Wait till the dollar is no longer the world's reserve currency.)
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To: TennesseeGirl
This may not be all bad. We take too many drugs and I am convinced they're just as likely to harm you as help you.

To make my prejudices worse, I heard of a government-paid-for program where people are urged to turn in their unused drugs. They reported there were 8 TONS of drugs turned in in one year. This is an outrage. Taxpayers probably paid for many of these drugs and now they can pay to dispose of them.

27 posted on 05/30/2011 9:54:48 AM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS

I won’t hold my breath waiting for that. The sheeple will be told it’s Big Pharma’s Fault, Wall Street’s Fault, The Republicans’ Fault.....works every time.


28 posted on 05/30/2011 9:54:50 AM PDT by FlyVet
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To: PapaBear3625

” And distributors are not going to maintain inventories, due to how IRS taxes inventory as assets at the end of the fiscal year.”

You have that exactly right - the way the tax code is written it just makes doing business the right way impossible. IRS should be dismantled and let people and businesses run their own lives. It’s all part of the “government knows better” nonsense that is destroying us.


29 posted on 05/30/2011 9:55:21 AM PDT by LibertyLA (fighting libtards and other giant government enablers!)
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To: haircutter

Many friends have had the exact same experience. obamao needs to go!

LLS


30 posted on 05/30/2011 10:07:58 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer ("If you lie hard enough and sell your soul... you can scam your way to the top" barack obama)
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To: vetvetdoug
The worst part is that this has been done to America intentionally by obama... he meant to see these things happen. He hates us all.

LLS

31 posted on 05/30/2011 10:09:29 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer ("If you lie hard enough and sell your soul... you can scam your way to the top" barack obama)
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To: Lady Jag

Obam will use this “emergency” to implement a single payer system.


32 posted on 05/30/2011 10:10:13 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: PapaBear3625

“generics are cheaper — and since they are cheaper, and carry such a narrow profit margin, companies are not going to jump to make them.”

But if there is a shortage of generics, then why doesn’t the price rise to eliminate the shortage and make it worthwhile to produce them?? It’s gotta be an artifact of some kind of price regulation. Probably the insurance companies or government simply won’t pay more than they are for a generic.


33 posted on 05/30/2011 10:18:51 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant
But if there is a shortage of generics, then why doesn’t the price rise to eliminate the shortage and make it worthwhile to produce them?? It’s gotta be an artifact of some kind of price regulation.

Something happens to bring things to a point where there's only one provider, and that provider is not making much of a profit. Given two or more providers, I'm going to guess that regulations mandated picking the one with the lower price, until there was only one.

34 posted on 05/30/2011 10:25:52 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: Sacajaweau

Short Supply of existing Drugs This is not about researching new drugs.

Drug manufactures either Cant or Wont make enough.


35 posted on 05/30/2011 10:25:56 AM PDT by Bailee
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To: bgill

Unfortunately, illness isn’t a respecter of person, business hours, weekends or holidays.


36 posted on 05/30/2011 10:41:48 AM PDT by Calm_Cool_and_Elected ("The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." --Flannery O'Connor)
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To: Brilliant
It seems that the FDA has a hoop a prospective generic drug maker has to jump through, namely the generic drug approval process. This makes the startup cost to produce a generic drug high enough to be non-trivial. This means that once one supplier has been approved, it scares off other potential suppliers, as they don't want to go through the expense only to find that the revenue (because of price competition) is inadequate to recover expenses.
37 posted on 05/30/2011 10:48:53 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: TennesseeGirl
The article sounds like something right out of Atlas Shrugged. Lots of excuses, lots of government involvement, and little sign of free markets.

I have little doubt that the majority of the drugs involved are less profitable to make because the government is the actual purchaser on behalf of somebody else who hasn't the ability to pay. The government's effort to contain costs is probably the actual cause of the shortages.

38 posted on 05/30/2011 10:56:02 AM PDT by William Tell
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To: TennesseeGirl
Remember when we were told NOT to order meds online -- even from Canada -- or else we were all going to die from substandard pharmaceuticals?

Well the government said so and the Pharmaceutical companies fund the politicos - so you are just being un-American if you don't believe them. Shame on you.

39 posted on 05/30/2011 11:09:26 AM PDT by Cardhu
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To: PapaBear3625

I can understand why that process would restrain competition and drive the price up. What I can’t understand is why those generic companies which are in business would sell the product at such a low price that there is a shortage. Why not jack up the price and eliminate the shortage? The only explanation I have is that their ability to jack up the price must somehow be restricted by non-competitive factors. My suspicion is that either the insurance companies, the government, or both have basically told them, “This is what we’re going to pay for it, and nothing more. If you can’t sell it for that, then so be it.”

In other words, it’s not the supply side that is the problem, but the demand side.


40 posted on 05/30/2011 11:19:16 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: PapaBear3625
due to non-viable profit margins

the rest of the world make all the drugs but do not use the special sauce made from American sucker weed. Sucker enhancement actually makes the drugs cost three or four time more than anywhere else.

I wish we could grow sucker weed.

41 posted on 05/30/2011 11:23:01 AM PDT by Cardhu
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To: Cardhu

We do grow plenty of sucker weed, and the government has mandated it’s use.


42 posted on 05/30/2011 11:30:07 AM PDT by MetaThought
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To: MetaThought

:)


43 posted on 05/30/2011 11:34:46 AM PDT by Cardhu
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To: TennesseeGirl
Remember when we were told NOT to order meds online -- even from Canada -- or else we were all going to die from substandard pharmaceuticals?

"They" never said that you would die from substandard pharmaceuticals. "They" did say, however, that buying meds on line, especially from Canada, dramatically increased the risk of obtaining counterfeit or adulterated drugs.

That hasn't changed. Actually, it's only gotten worse. The WHO estimates that 10% of all drugs world wide are counterfeit. Organized crime is making a fortune selling these drugs to unwitting consumers. The FDA did a study back in 2005 that showed 85% of all internet drugs purporting to be from Canada actually came from one of 25 other countries like China, India, Costa Rica etc. Yeah, those are the countries I want my pharmaceuticals coming from.

Besides these obvious concerns, and as a conservative, do you really want access to cheaper drugs due to foreign imposed price controls? Socialism, or something worse, is ok as long as it results in you getting your drugs for less money? Countries practicing price controls don't develop new drugs. That is a fact. Does removing the profit motive spur innovation in your world? Do you think future generations should forgo innovation so you can have access to artificial prices forced upon industry by government? Over the past 15 years, nine out of 10 of all new drugs have been discovered here in the US. Why do you think that is?

44 posted on 05/30/2011 12:00:45 PM PDT by Mase (Save me from the people who would save me from myself!)
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To: Cardhu
Sucker enhancement actually makes the drugs cost three or four time more than anywhere else.

The suckers (fools) are those who think we pay more than the rest of the world for drugs for some other reason than foreign price controls. The US is one of just a handful of markets where the pharmaceutical industry can still make the profit necessary to support the massive R&D necessary to create NME's. There's a reason the world's drug R&D is headquartered in the USA. Some folks want to kill the last remaining goose laying golden eggs. They're usually the same folks who don't give a rats rear end about anyone else as long as they get theirs.

45 posted on 05/30/2011 12:06:59 PM PDT by Mase (Save me from the people who would save me from myself!)
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To: Mase
"or else we were all going to die from substandard pharmaceuticals"

Hyperbole, Mase. Hyperbole.

46 posted on 05/30/2011 12:12:01 PM PDT by TennesseeGirl
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To: PapaBear3625

“Did you read the article? It is the GENERIC drugs that are in short supply, due to non-viable profit margins. See my post #11.”

Big notice—it’s not ONLY the generics. We’re seeing this all over all drug classifications. And then I see the Call an Ambulance Chaser commercials advertising to sue if one has ever taken darvocet, antidepressants, etc. Until there is real tort reform, I expect things will get incredibly worse.


47 posted on 05/30/2011 12:14:43 PM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: Mase

It seems that you have certainly cornered the market on hallucinatory drugs.


48 posted on 05/30/2011 12:20:00 PM PDT by Cardhu
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To: Brilliant
What I can’t understand is why those generic companies which are in business would sell the product at such a low price that there is a shortage. Why not jack up the price and eliminate the shortage? The only explanation I have is that their ability to jack up the price must somehow be restricted by non-competitive factors.

I'm going to guess that the drugs aren't made continuously -- that the same production facilities are used to make several drugs. If a particular drug runs out of inventory before another production batch is scheduled to be made, or a batch run for drug A is delayed while an order for a more profitable drug B is filled, then a shortage happens.

The solution would be for hospitals and distributors to maintain a bigger inventory, but it makes for a better news story to blame manufacturers.

49 posted on 05/30/2011 12:28:04 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: All

According to this article http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/226896.php, Pharmacists and drugmakers cite the following reasons for drug shortages:

* Product recalls
* Contaminated vials
* Difficulties in importing certain raw materials
* Demand fluctuations
* Production plants being upgraded (and closed while the upgrade is being carried out)

FYI, it’s worthwhile to read the entire article cited in this post; economics and regulations are mentioned as well.


50 posted on 05/30/2011 12:29:17 PM PDT by TennesseeGirl
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