PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hospitals across the country are experiencing shortages on some key drugs and local hospitals are dealing with the same issue.
Most of the drug shortages are injectable drugs used for chemotherapy, anesthesia, antibiotics and more.
Shawn Parekh, director of Pharmacy Services at Abington Memorial Hospital, says one of the reasons for the shortage is more quality control, “There’s a lot more government oversight, or FDA oversight, and that’s caused a limitation in terms of production, we finding that in some cases manufacturers have been hit by natural disasters that’s limited production. A lot of times, the FDA has actually gone into manufacturers and because of the quality has stopped production, so that’s really limited it.”
Parekh says he doesn’t see an end in sight for the drug shortages. But he adds the FDA recently passed an act which calls on drug manufacturers to give hospitals significant notice if a shortage is expected.
Rick Demers, director of Pharmaceutical Services at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, says most of these drugs are made by just two or three companies nationwide, and if there is a problem in production, it can affect every hospital.
He says Penn is working to circumvent the problems, “I have one if not two of my pharmacists working at any one point in time, as these shortage appear, to look at the source of the problem, the shortage, what the extent of it is, how much we have on hand, how much we can get in and then we evaluate methodologies to ration.”
Demers says part of the problem is drug manufacturers may experience a work stoppage because ingredients aren’t available.
Reported by Kim Glovas, KYW Newsradio 1060