A nationwide shortage of certain drugs has caused many surgeons and doctors to use older treatment options for many patients with devastating diseases, including cancer.
Some blame the drug shortages on quality and manufacturing issues, but hospitals have severely low cases of many extremely important drugs and medications.
The shortage has caused some suppliers to drastically increase prices, and in most cases, hospital officials have to foot the bill for the inflated rate as patients require the drugs for survival.
Some inject-able medicines, like many manufactured by Hospira Inc., have recently been shown to have quality issues, including dangerous toxin content discovered in specific medications and paperwork inaccuracies on drug orders.
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has a group of experts working on finding a solution.
While five years ago there were about 30 drugs that required more production, that figure has jumped to nearly 150 different drugs that are being under-manufactured now.
Of the 150, federal health officials explain that as many as 60 of the drugs can be considered “medical necessities” as they treat and prevent life-threatening illnesses.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tight regulations as is, but the standards may change because of these issues.