Drug shortage continues to affect Heartland pharmacies
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Rising drug shortages in the U.S. are impacting not only those out shopping for medicines they need, but pharmacies looking to treat patients as well.
According to a report from the Senate Homeland and Security Committee, drug shortages reached a five-year peak at the end of 2022, impacting almost 300 pharmaceutical products including basic treatments such as IV saline and antibiotics.
This also includes drugs used in hospital emergency rooms, drugs used to treat cancer and prescription medications.
It’s even impacting common over-the-counter treatments like children’s cold and flu medicine.
One Cape Girardeau pharmacist, Catherine Heaton, said she and her team are doing their best to keep up, but this shortage is one of the worst they’ve seen.
She recalled the last 20 years of her career in medicine and said she’s never seen it like this.
“Okay so what do we have to replace it with?” Heaton said. “Now we’re looking at that instead of you know, let’s call this other pharmacy down the road--do you have this one that one, it’s nobody has it--and it’s yeah no I’ve seen anything like this.”
According to the same report, the average drug shortage lasts about 1.5 years, but more than 15 critical drug products have been in shortage for over a decade.
Researchers blame the shortages on several factors, including complex global supply chains.
Government officials say nearly 80 percent of the facilities making America’s medical ingredients are based overseas.
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