Navigation Links
Drug Shortages Even Worse This Year: FDA

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Prescription drug shortages in the United States, which reached a record high last year, are getting worse, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

So far this year, some 200 drug shortages have occurred compared to 178 in all of 2010, said Valerie Jensen, associate director of the Drug Shortage Program within the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

"This is real," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, La. "We've been down on this for several years. We have been able to manage around the issue here, but it is a very real issue and a very real problem."

Many of the scarce drugs are injectables, such as cytarabine and cisplatin, used to treat serious conditions such as cancer. Some are only given in hospitals and are "absolutely critical," said Jensen, who spoke at a Friday press conference.

More than half (54 percent) of shortages in 2010 were because of quality issues, such as sterility or drug impurities. Some were due to delays or manufacturing capacity problems, with 11 percent caused by discontinuation of a drug and 5 percent resulting from raw material shortages, Jensen said.

"In 2011, we're seeing the same trend, a very large number of quality product issues leading to shortages," she added.

Shortages also tend to occur in drugs that are not "economically attractive," said Jensen. This could mean that only one company produces the drug, making it harder to find alternatives if the supply dries up.

"A lot of it has to do with generic drugs," Brooks explained. "Few people make them. The margins are not very high."

The anesthetic propofol, which was implicated in Michael Jackson's death, for instance, sells for only 48 cents per 20 milliliter vial. A shortage of propofol in 2010 "was severe," said Jensen.

Some shortages are unforeseeable.

"There were several potential shortages due to the Japan earthquake," Jensen said. Several firms lost suppliers, but the FDA was able to quickly qualify other suppliers and avert any actual shortages, she said.

The FDA has very limited authority to combat shortages, and it cannot tell a company how much of a medication to produce. Although it requires sole producers of a drug to inform the agency if they're going to discontinue it, there is no penalty if firms don't report to the agency.

More information

For more on drug shortages, visit the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.

SOURCES: Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman of hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge, La.; Sept. 30, 2011, teleconference with Valerie Jensen, R.Ph., associate director, Drug Shortage Program, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Cancer Drug Shortages Getting Worse, FDA Says
2. Scottsdale Veterinary Pharmacy Celebrates Success in Business By Dodging Veterinary Drug Shortages
3. Patients underlying health linked to worse outcomes for melanoma, U-M study finds
4. Younger Blacks Fare Worse on Dialysis, Study Finds
5. As Heart Failure Worsens, Word Recall May Suffer Too
6. Breast Cancer Plus Other Health Issues Linked to Worse Outcomes
7. Worse outcomes for older breast cancer patients with other health problems
8. Stress May Worsen Lung Function in Kids Breathing Dirty Air
9. Heightened immunity to colds makes asthma flare-ups worse, U-M research shows
10. Following colorectal cancer surgery, longer delay before chemotherapy associated with worse survival
11. Fear of Dying During Heart Attack May Make Matters Worse
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Drug Shortages Even Worse This Year: FDA
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... optimization of adjunctive imaging is the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation ... 29-December 4, 2015. Nine abstracts highlight the use of Volpara Solutions’ quantitative ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (December ... the organization has awarded Education and Developmental Therapies (EDT), an Applied Behavior Analysis ... celebrates exceptional special needs providers that excel in synthesizing the areas of clinical ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS), a ... health arenas, is pleased to announce that VIP Care Services, a Caprock Health ... the ACUITY Complete Care™ Management to back their collaborative catastrophic case management initiatives. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... With FCPX Overlay: Grit , users ... over customization, the possibilities are truly endless, all with a click of a mouse. ... vertical flip, horizontal flip, depth of field and more, all within Final Cut Pro ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Tympani Inc., announced today ... status from Cisco. This designation recognizes Tympani as having fulfilled the training requirements ... targeted to the high-end enterprise contact center marketplace. , Ed Kapelinski, President of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... and TELTOW, Germany , ... Instruments (SMI) , a leading global manufacturer of eye ... LLC has included SMI remote eye trackers as ... help healthcare providers assess concussions, eye sight, and medical ... RED -oem technology is part of SMI,s mass-market-ready eye ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 ... Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL), among ... has acquired Elekta,s Leksell Gamma Knife® Icon™, the ... brain. --> --> ... or traditional frame-based treatments, Leksell Gamma Knife Icon ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 01, 2015 ... "Drug Delivery Technology Market 2015 - Forecast to ... ) has announced the addition of ... Forecast to 2020" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: