Some hospitals are being forced to buy life saving medications such as drugs for infections, chemotherapy, and other serious aliments from secondary suppliers. The reason is that there is a severe shortage of these medications and this is not only forcing hospitals to buy them from other suppliers but is also endangering patients.
From reports and interviews with almost twenty-four experts it has been found that at least fifteen deaths in the past fifteen months are being blamed on the shortages. It was either because of dosing errors or problems in preparing and administering alternative medications or the right drug was not available.
These shortages which mainly involve the widely-used generic injected drugs which are usually cheap have been delaying cancer treatments and surgeries. As a result, hospitals are giving less effective treatment or some patients are being left in unnecessary pain. This is resulting in longer hospital stays and complications.
Five hundred forty nine hospitals in the United States responded to a survey and just over half them said they had purchased one or more medication from what is called “gray market vendors” which are companies that are not their normal companies to purchase these medications. Seven percent of them reported that there were side effects of other problems with these medications. Hospitals that are buying medicine from the “gray market” are taking a gamble.
The primary cause of this problem, according to the FDA, is production shutdown and the reason for the shutdowns is because of manufacturing problems like metal particles getting into the medicine or some other form of contamination.
Drug shortages set to reach record levels – USATODAY.com
Aug 15, 2011 … Shortages of key cancer drugs is leading to rationing and hardship for patients.
Drug Shortages > Current Drug Shortages
New/Updated Drug Shortages: Calcitriol 1 mcg/mL Injection, 9/21/2011, Paclitaxel Injection 9/20/2011.
FDA recognizes the significant public health consequences that can result …
Drug Shortages Resource Center
Welcome to the Drug Shortage Resource Center, the first stop for ASHP … Report a Shortage to ASHP and help ASHP Drug Shortage Resource Center to …