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Sun Nov 3, 2019, 10:35 AM

"Greatest healthcare system in the world" dealing with worsening shortages of essential medicines

Reason why is shocking... or maybe it's not shocking.

In a historic boardroom at Massachusetts General Hospital this week, the Emergency Preparedness Team assembled in what they say has become an all too frequent occurrence. More than two dozen doctors, nurses, pharmacists, tech specialists and others gathered around a conference table, a "war room" of sorts, to address the shortage of a crucial drug: the blood-thinner Heparin.

"It is simply not possible for us to do heart surgery without Heparin," Dr. Thoralf Sundt, chief of cardiac surgery, emphasized to the room.

The meetings, according to Dr. Paul Biddinger, chief of the division of emergency preparedness, have become part of a new reality — one in which the hospital has to prepare for running short of critical drugs. (Heparin is not the only concern. The Boston hospital has identified more than 100 drugs currently in shortage, other drugs include Epinephrine, which is used to treat allergic reactions, and Acyclovir–IV, an antiviral drug used to treat infections)

...

The reason behind many of these shortages? Many involve older drugs that cost less, leaving little financial incentive for manufacturers to continue to produce them. As drug makers exit the market, one or two companies may be the only ones left to supply the drugs. In the case of vincristine, for example, the medication was only made by two companies. One of them, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, ended production in July, leaving Pfizer as the only manufacturer. The FDA calls it a “broken marketplace.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/u-s-hospitals-fda-grapple-shortages-life-saving-drugs-n1074821


Let's go over it again... It's NOT that the base ingredients for essential medicines cost too much money, there's NOT a shortage of those ingredients, it's NOT that chemists who make them are demanding higher wages, it's NOT an issue of getting the essential medicines to the people, and it's NOT some centralized regulatory body... it's that essential medicines can apparently be deemed "not hot" anymore and just discontinued, I guess, like they're New Coke or something.

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Reply "Greatest healthcare system in the world" dealing with worsening shortages of essential medicines (Original post)
ck4829 Nov 2019 OP
backtoblue Nov 2019 #1
Mike 03 Nov 2019 #2
ck4829 Nov 2019 #3
eppur_se_muova Nov 2019 #4
safeinOhio Nov 2019 #8
eppur_se_muova Nov 2019 #9
safeinOhio Nov 2019 #13
democratisphere Nov 2019 #5
ck4829 Nov 2019 #14
CrispyQ Nov 2019 #6
Turbineguy Nov 2019 #7
roamer65 Nov 2019 #10
leftstreet Nov 2019 #11
ismnotwasm Nov 2019 #12
KY_EnviroGuy Nov 2019 #15

Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 10:42 AM

1. K&R

No financial incentives....to make a life saving medicine.



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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 10:46 AM

2. It's really a shame too. Sometimes the older drugs work just as well

or better than the newer "improved" drugs whose safety profiles haven't been fully evaluated. Old diabetes drugs were replaced by new generation drugs, some of which had all kinds of serious issues.

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Response to Mike 03 (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 10:49 AM

3. Ha, I'm sure the only "improvement" is a higher price tag

They discontinue drug A, saying drug B is better... Drug B doesn't work out, asked if they'll return to drug A, they just say "Nah"

This healthcare system is a dystopia, we're living it.

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Response to Mike 03 (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 10:51 AM

4. Amazing how drugs lose their effectiveness once the patent protection lapses. nt

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 11:25 AM

8. And our government extended the patent protection period for drug patents.

For 18 years I have stayed out of the ER thanks to injectable Benadryl. Now it is almost impossible to find. There is only one drug store I can find that has access to it. I asked the druggist why it's so hard to get. He said it is too cheap, so no one wants to carry it. They would rather sell the more expensive and dangerous Epi Pens. He told me it is too cheap and they can't make any profit on it.
Every time I pick it up, I tip the druggist five bucks.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 11:44 AM

9. Have you looked online for Canadian sources ?

I don't know what dosage you use -- it looks like 1.25 mg/mL and 50 mg/mL are both sold (quite a difference in dosage and price!).

https://www.google.com/search?q=buy+injection+benadryl+from+canada&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRktvLrs7lAhUIWa0KHZntAXAQ7xYILSgA&biw=1077&bih=820

Evidently, Canada has a different take on the all-holy Unrestrained Free Market, at least where human health is concerned.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 12:11 PM

13. I'll have to check it out.

Price here is fine, but very hard to find. My next plan was vet supply. Amazing the drugs you can get at Tractor Supply.

Thanks

I use the 50 mg/mL bottles and inject .25 mL then wait about 45 minutes and if no relief I do it one more time. The same doze a one or two over the counter pills. Going thru the stomach reduces the effect and time to work. One time, before I got it, I took 6 pills and still ended up in the ER. They asked if I took anything for it and I told the doctor I took 6 pills. He said that was too many. I then asked what he was putting in my drip, he said more Benadryl.

I end up using it about 2 or 3 times a year.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 10:54 AM

5. The American Criminal Enterprise Healthcare System strikes again.

The pharmaceutical industry being the most corrupt. It is so beyond disgusting and disgraceful.

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Response to democratisphere (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 07:43 AM

14. Indeed

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 11:04 AM

6. One nation under God. Only Mammon is our God.

We have a society that only values money. Everything-for-profit.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 11:05 AM

7. In the U.S.

Manufacturing drugs is finance, but chemistry is involved.

Just like in California, where electricity production is finance, but engineering is involved. And that's why the lights are out.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 11:51 AM

10. Watch TV.

These blood sucking pharmaceutical companies are more interested in pushing patented designer drugs with shitloads of side effects and stupid names.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 11:53 AM

11. DURec

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 11:56 AM

12. They are also not made in the US

Natural disasters like hurricanes can affect what IS made in the US. Pharmaceutical companies are driving healthcare.

I went to lectures by infectious disease on Ed days given by doctors who are saying the reason new antibiotics are so slow to come out Pharmaceutical companies aren’t profiting enough from antibiotics. This despite we have several strands of bacteria that developed immunity to what we do have.

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Response to ck4829 (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 08:18 AM

15. The stock market does not reward low margins.....

and the market has no morals......

They should take those damned ads off TV and pour that money into supporting foundational drug products our doctors need.

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