Maybe you’ve seen a little item in the news lately about shortages of important “medically necessary” medicines. You probably dismissed it as something that doesn’t affect you, however, you might be interested to know that the shortages include cancer drugs, anesthetics used for patients having surgery, injectibles used in emergency treatment, electrolytes, and medicines that many Americans take daily for chronic conditions. Curious now?
Fortunately, monitoring production supplies and shortages and working closely with U.S. drug makers is one of the important jobs of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They report that “…the number of drug shortages has tripled over the last six years – jumping from 61 drug products in 2005 to 178 in 2010 – …” So, as a consumer and patient what can you do? First of all, be in touch with your medical care provider to assess your individual situation and needs. Second, take a look at the list of Current Drug Shortages. If you believe a drug you’re taking is in short supply and isn’t on the list, you can contact the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at drugshortages [at] fda.hhs.gov.
You can find this and other Consumer Updates atwww.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates. Also, you can sign up for free email subscriptions to FDA news at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USFDA/subscriber/new?topic_id=USFDA_9
Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian
- FDA Works to Lessen Drug Shortage Impact (nlm.nih.gov)
- Drug Shortages Hurt Man….and His Best Friend (bioethics.net)
- Drug Shortages at All-Time High (money.cnn.com)
- Drugs to Be Discontinued by Manufacturer (thenewalchemist.wordpress.com)
- Execution Drugs Not the Only Ones Facing Shortages (pascophronesis.wordpress.com)
- Video: Drug shortages hit record level (msnbc.msn.com)
- Drug Shortages Often Delay Care at Hospitals (livingstrongandhappy.blogspot.com)
- Crucial cancer drugs in critical short supply (cbsnews.com)
- Hospitals Continue to Struggle With Drug Shortages – Availability Is Not Always There (ducknetweb.blogspot.com)
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