Admittedly there are some things that I would never conceive could possibly “run out” or “dry up,” even in the worst economic times. As a non-doctor, drugs are one of those things.
But imagine, if you will for a moment, having to call your friends to see if they could get you the much needed drug that your hospital could not supply. If you do not get the drug, you will not be able to keep your disease under control…
This is exactly what happened to Thomas Kornberg, a professor with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma who was forced to contact doctor-friends to supply his need.
Hospitals report that they have delayed treatment (82%) and more than half were not always able to provide the patient with the recommended treatment
Patients got a less effective drug (69%)
Hospitals experienced drug shortages across all treatment categories
Most hospitals rarely or never receive advance notification of drug shortages (77%) or are informed about the cause of the shortage (67%)
The vast majority of all hospitals reported increased drug costs as a result of drug shortages
Most hospitals are purchasing more expensive alternative drugs from other sources
The AHA has proposed some solutions: They want to establish early warning systems of shortages, remove regulatory obstacles, improve communication among stakeholders, and explore incentives to encourage drug manufacturers to stay in, re-enter or initially enter the market.
Clearly Kornberg is not the only case,
So what happened to the other people who don’t have the connections/resources that he does?
How are hospitals to deliberate on the dispersion of scarce resources?
Even more concerning, if this becomes a trend, will there be an even larger motive for inconspicuous sales?