Kingston, New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer Weighs in on Hospital Drug Shortages

John Fisher
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Stopping Medical Injustice
In a recent study, almost two dozen experts have concluded that there is a growing crisis in the availability of various kinds of hospital drugs.

Particularly injected generic drugs-which are usually cheaper and more accessible-which are delaying surgeries and treatments while leaving patients in pain or having to resort to less-effective treatment. In fact, there have been fifteen deaths blamed on these drug shortages in a little over a year.

For example, a drug used to treat extremely high blood pressure that is normally priced at $25.90 per dose, now costs hospitals $1,200! The shortage drugs typically are for chemotherapy, cancer, infections, high blood pressure, and pain medication-among other ailments. And as you may have noticed, these drugs are typically for ailments that are in primitive stages of treatment, meaning we are currently working to improve treatment for them in trials. This is worrisome because I think it will affect future drugs and it will cause create a backlog. Actually, one expert noted that these shortages are not just hurting patients needing the current drugs, but also disrupting clinical studies of new drugs and treatments. This was actually called a "ripple effect" on future treatment.

Another concern I have is that hospitals are resorting to "grey market vendors," or companies who are not their normal wholesalers. These vendors buy the drugs from smaller wholesalers and resell them at their normal price; essentially generating their own business by taking up scare stock elsewhere. The problem is that many of these vendors are NOT licensed or authorized, which when you are talking about cancer chemotherapy drugs and other medications to treat dangerous ailments, I get scared.

Part of the problem, if you call it that, is that the FDA is very strict with drugs and if there is any contaminate or issue with a stock, they will discard them all. This clearly can create a deficiency, which it has. There is the delicate balance-if not an absolute tension-between the notion of protecting patients and providing adequate amounts of medication.

But what do you think about this? Does the drug shortage worry you? I'd love to hear what you think. I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.

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