While the Alberta government continues to acknowledge a "real strain" in hospitals across the province,…
(WXYZ) – The United States is experiencing a shortage of prescription drugs, which is affecting both healthcare facilities and patients.
On the FDA website, several hundred drugs are listed as “currently in short supply”.
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From hospitals to pharmacies, there is a shortage of medicines, and this is impacting local residents.
“He’s told ‘it’s going to be there, come up and it’s ready’, then we come in and it’s only a certain amount of pills, that’s still a problem, then we run to another Rite Aid” , said Daniel Maxwell.
She talks about her mom, who relies on tramadol to get through the day. And lately getting the painkiller has been a problem.
“I just heard there might be a problem with some inhalers and for me, I’ve had a lot of problems…my asthma got worse, I’m double, and…it’s scary when it works, and now I’m a little tense,” she said.
Elizabeth Kilpatrick also faced similar issues, particularly with formula for her grandchild.
“It’s extremely frustrating, and I can go to 5-6 stores a day in an hour and come in, look at empty shelves,” Kilpatrick said.
The FDA has listed more than 110 drugs in shortage. They range from tablets to injections. iPharmacy’s Rudy Najm says it’s a tough market right now.
“Diabetes drugs, injections, and that’s also affecting a lot of essentials for hospitals and doctors’ offices; we’re seeing a lot of shortages of normal saline, lidocaine injections, some of the basics,” he said. Najm.
Annette Karageanes of Beaumont Health says at least 50 drugs are in short supply on her end.
“We try to do therapeutic exchanges when we can and when they are available,” Karageanes said.
Both Najm and Karageanes say the shortage of drugs has worsened in recent years.
“We tend to rely a lot on foreign countries for our manufacturing and you factor in trade wars, COVID restrictions and geopolitical tensions and that affects the supply in the United States a lot,” Najm said.
Karageanes says: “Certainly disappointing that we’re not in better shape than we already were.”
Worse still, the limited supply is also hitting patients’ wallets.
“With gasoline prices, everything goes up, transportation costs, manufacturing, labor, so prices go up,” Najm said.
In an official statement to 7 Action News, the FDA says, “The authority is actively monitoring drug availability and we are committed to working with our public health partners, manufacturers and distributors to help alleviate shortages and help ensure a continued patient access to safe and effective life-saving medicines. drugs.”
What do patients do while waiting?
“Unfortunately, they just have to shop around…to see who still has something on the shelf,” Najm said.
And if they don’t, Najm said they could travel.
“We see them sometimes, they’re just going to Canada. They’re taking a trip just so they can buy medicine,” he said.
That’s why people like Ashley Miller resort to other measures.
“I had my doctor write me a 30 or 90 day supply, that gives me more time to figure it out,” Miller said.
Karageanes says, “We have a collective inventory that we can pull from these eight hospitals, so each of the sites could adjust their inventory and increase the safety stock of those of the products so that it’s not as critical when we see problems in the supply chain.
As for a long-term solution, Najm says the United States should be self-sufficient and not dependent on foreign countries.
“We really want to buy American, it becomes an empty slogan. All drugs are made in India, China, Japan, so it’s time for the government to provide like tax incentives, financial support for manufacturers to come and produce here in the United States,” he said.