EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSDRUG SHORTAGE
from Eyewitness News Online
Nationwide Drug Shortage Hits Home
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Tim Rock
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Mar. 14, 2012 10:18 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 14, 2012 10:56 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A nationwide drug shortage is hitting home when it comes to hospitals and ambulances.
The FDA says it's tracked about 220 drug shortages last year, up from 61 in 2005. A problem that's far from being solved as local first responders, and hospitals are feeling the effects of a nationwide issue.
Dwindling drug supplies, and bracing for the next shortage...that's the harsh reality that CAMC's Health System Director Brian Sayre deals with on a daily basis.
"We are constantly after it to see what we can do," he says.
Sayre has worked with CAMC for six years, but has never seen a drug shortage like the one currently sweeping the country.
"The numbers just keep going up each, and each month. When you look compared to 2010, the number of drug shortages are close to double," says Sayre.
The shortage means doctors and first responders are having to look elsewhere for drugs like morphine, used to treat pain, or Ativan to treat seizures.
"Several different drugs that we're not able to get right now. There's not really much of a replacement out there for us so we're just kind of being, you know, put on the back burner I guess, waiting for the drugs to come in," says Lt. Paramedic Alisha Samples of the Charleston Fire Department.
Doctors and paramedics now have to be trained on second and third option drugs. But for the pharmacists at CAMC, Sayre says it comes down to creative buying, and strategic thinking. Always asking themselves what the next shortage will be.
So far, both say the shortage hasn't meant a lower standard of care for patients, but it's a problem that doesn't seem to be getting better.
"It's a battle, it's a daily battle all hospitals are dealing with but we have been very, very, very fortunate compared to a lot of other facilities in being able to keep medication supplies," says Sayre.
A simple reason for the shortage is hard to pinpoint. The FDA has cited problems at drug manufacturing facilities, while some blame over regulation. Others say speculators are hoarding medicine to drive up prices.
MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
2012 NEWS: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
Home | Eyewitness News Newsroom | Storm Team Weather | Eyewitness Sports | Schedules
Send email to email@example.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2013, WCHS-TV8. Portions are
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.