Hospitals in Indiana are dealing with the worst drug shortage in at least a decade, forcing them to briefly delay cancer treatments, scramble for supplies or use other medications.
The University of Utah’s Drug Information Service has tracked drug shortages for the past 10 years. Shortages have increased steadily during the past four years and now include chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, painkillers and electrolytes used for liquid nutrition.
In 2007, the number of shortages shot up to 129 from 70 the previous year. Last year hit a high of 211. The first quarter of this year has already seen 89 drugs in short supply.
The reasons behind the shortages are as varied as the drugs involved. Many of the drugs are generics, which are less profitable than other drugs to produce, so a company may slow or stop production.
Medicynical Note: In our non-system patient care, efficiency and value are not our department. It’s about the money.