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Drug Shortage in America

The United States is in the mist of extreme prescription drug shortage.  In 2010 there were 178Image drug shortages in the United States and in 2011 the number rose to 251. The numbers are estimated to continue to raise causing panic among the sick and needy people across the nation. There are shortages in cancer drugs, anesthetics, emergency medicine, and electrolytes for IV feeds. The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, is doing everything they can to prevent these shortages. These shortages affect the pharmacies and hospitals then the consumers.

The drug shortage has been a major problem since 2008.  The primary reason for the drug shortage in the United States was manufacturing issues. Also, suppliers are failing to supply the raw materials required to produce the necessary prescription drugs. In order to regulate these shortages, President Obama has issues an executive order that requires suppliers and producers to notify The Food and Drug Administration when they predict shortages of their product.  Problems can occur at any point of the process. The FDA cannot control how each company is run, but they must know when a shortage is predicted, so that something can be done to avoid it.

ImageMany hospitals and individual patients are concerned that they cannot acquire the drugs they need. In some cases the prescription drug simply does not exist; it has been discontinued because of lack of raw materials, capital, and labor. In other cases, the drug is so rare and the consumers cannot afford it. The Federal Trade Commission has control over consumer protection laws. They work to make sure that the nation’s markets function “competitively, and are vigorous, efficient, and free of undue restrictions.”  The Food and Drug Administration is taking precautions so that the most important drugs do not run out completely. They are rationing drugs at hospitals.

Hospitals are frustrated because they are failing to “treat basic things — [such as] cardiac arrest, pain management, seizures.” The FDA has to make tough choices regarding who gets the necessary drugs and who does not.

All over the United States, there are wounded people riding in the back of an ambulance that are not being given morphine to numb the pain. There is a shortage of morphine and doctors must make the impossible choice to let the patient sit in pain, and possibly die of shock, because they must ration morphine.  New jobs have been created, because hospitals and pharmacies need people to track down hard-to-find drugs. Although there are some new jobs, prices are continuing to rise and many sick individuals are panicking because they cannot find the drugs they need.

The list of hard-to-find medicines is growing, and doctors and patients are concerned.  The Food and Drug Administration are doing everything they can to alert the public, but there is not much the FDA can do to supply the necessary drugs to the public.

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