Obama Orders FDA to Zero In on Drug Shortage Crisis

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    …President Obama called for swift government action Monday against a drug shortage crisis that's increasingly left doctors and hospitals scrambling for life-saving medications -- often including those used in cancer and emergency treatment.

    The executive order from the White House called on the Food and Drug Administration to broaden its reporting of potential drug shortages, speed up the review of applications from companies wishing to change production of drugs facing a potential shortage, and pass along more information to the Justice Department regarding instances of suspected collusion or price gouging. …

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/...for-swift.html
    lindarn likes this.

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  2. 14 Comments...

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    About time. The other week I had a pt with critically low Ca levels and my hospital was completely out of IV Calcium Glutonate. We have also experienced recent shortages of Fentanyl, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and IV Lasix, and those are just the most common ones I can think of. I have also have oncology pts be admitted for chemo only to find out that we are all out of the chemo they need.


    Enough is enough.
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    The present situation with rampant drug shortages is a classic example of how the free-market system is not reliable for the population at large.
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
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    Quote from ♪♫ in my ♥
    The present situation with rampant drug shortages is a classic example of how the free-market system is not reliable for the population at large.
    The PBS report specifically identifies that much of the reason for the shortages is because these particular, necessary drugs are no longer profitable enough for drug companies to want to make them ...
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    Years ago when I worked in a pharmacy the pharmacist showed me an article in a journal from a pharmacy organization he belonged to. Basically it said that company A had bought all the raw ingredients needed by Company B to put out a certain drug. Company A didn't need the ingredients for their product, they were just holding on to it so that their competing product would gain an edge in sales. Company B took company A to court after failed negotiations. Company A destroyed the stash of the raw materials.

    I wonder how much of this is still going on and contributing to the shortages. And it makes me wonder how many of these shortages are done on purpose to drive up the prices and put more money in the pockets of those CEOs of the drug companies.

    There is a whole lot of dirty dealings in pharmaceuticals.
    anotherone and Not_A_Hat_Person like this.
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    Quote from elkpark
    The PBS report specifically identifies that much of the reason for the shortages is because these particular, necessary drugs are no longer profitable enough for drug companies to want to make them ...
    I think you've put the emphasis in the wrong place: "The PBS report specifically identifies that much of the reason for the shortages is because these particular, necessary drugs are no longer profitable enough for drug companies to want to make them ..."

    A couple of big sticks that could be wielded: (a) price controls as in most other 1st-world countries, and (b) reduction in length of patent protection.

    Keep in mind: The wealthy and powerful will certainly get whatever medications they or their loved ones need... the concern is for the rest of us.
    Not_A_Hat_Person and herring_RN like this.
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    As important as it is to have meds, I don't like the idea of Executive Orders. They are unconstitutional. Issuing them turns the President into a dictator.
    anotherone likes this.
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    This is good news for people who need medications. I know in hospice we are constantly facing shortages of roxanol and oxyfast.
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    Quote from ♪♫ in my ♥
    I think you've put the emphasis in the wrong place: "The PBS report specifically identifies that much of the reason for the shortages is because these particular, necessary drugs are no longer profitable enough for drug companies to want to make them ..."

    A couple of big sticks that could be wielded: (a) price controls as in most other 1st-world countries, and (b) reduction in length of patent protection.

    Keep in mind: The wealthy and powerful will certainly get whatever medications they or their loved ones need... the concern is for the rest of us.
    Well there is that and also the huge and rapidly growing pharmaceutical grey market. There are several companies that have tons of meds supposedly in "short supply", but you have to pay their price. What they do is go to the makers and buy up job lots to secure an inventory then when a hospital or pharmacy comes a calling what normally costs "A" is now a big fat "Z"; translation a drug a hospital normally paid $40 per dose now costs $4000. Don't want it? Tough cheese and step to the side you are holding up the line.
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
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    Quote from elkpark
    The PBS report specifically identifies that much of the reason for the shortages is because these particular, necessary drugs are no longer profitable enough for drug companies to want to make them ...

    The government cannot force a company to make a product if it does not want to. Another reason for product shortages is there are many times a lack of the basic raw ingredients used in these drugs. Many times political strife or warfare in certain parts of the world make getting the ingredients impossible. An executive order is not going to make the drugs appear suddenly if they are not being made.
    anotherone likes this.


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