Monday, May 2, 2011

Drug Shortages

I can't get my prescription filled. This is a small headache in my world, but drug shortages could be critical in the world overall. The pharmacist said there is none of my medication available, manufacturing back-ordered, and if the past carries into the present, when the medication is available again it will be more money - as much as 10X higher. Generics that have been on the market for a while aren't cost-effective. But some of the medications shown here are cancer drugs that are critical. Consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry is cited as one of the issues by Health & Hospitals Network. Pharmaceutical companies blaming "unexpected demand" is subterfuge, especially in the case of chemotherapy drugs. What's the FDA doing? Asking people to report shortages. Nice. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation to help the FDA by requiring drug companies to report manufacturing closures, shortages in ingredient acquisition. There are ancillary issues with shortages, including money and time wasted finding alternatives, and medical errors made in substituting. Meanwhile, I could take my dad's medication, except that it hasn't been adequately tested on women.

1 comment:

  1. Rob Stein had an article about this in the Washington Post today, titled: "Shortages of key drugs endanger patients" with a new graph of the 2011 pace of shortage projected out -at 2x that of 2009. That's alarming!

    Here's a link to the article