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The U.S. Is Running Out of Drugs

The U.S. Is Running Out of Drugs

Sep 24, 2023

The U.S. Is Running Out of Drugs

I never thought the U.S. would face a shortage of drugs, legal or otherwise, yet here we are. It began with a lack of children’s pain relievers and antibiotics back in the winter but seems to be growing worse.

From CBS News on May 23, 2023:

Nearly 300 medications are in short supply in the U.S., including chemotherapy drugs used to treat some types of cancer.

A number of factors have contributed to the shortages, which have increased by nearly 30% between 2021 and 2022, according to a recent congressional report. Those include include manufacturing snags and other supply-chain disruptions, strong consumer demand, and in some cases overprescription by doctors.

assorted-color pills

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

From the Associated Press on June 7th, 2023:

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network said Wednesday that nearly all the centers it surveyed late last month were dealing with shortages of carboplatin and cisplatin, a pair of drugs used to treat a range of cancers. Some are no longer able to treat patients receiving carboplatin at the intended dose or schedule.

Dr. Kari Wisinski has had to turn to other treatments for some patients or switch the order in which people receive their drug combinations. She said she’s done that “hoping that within three months there will be a better carboplatin supply.”

From the New York Times on July 7, 2023:

A new shortage of a type of penicillin crucial to the fight against syphilis is alarming infectious disease experts, who warn that a protracted scarcity of the drug could worsen the U.S. epidemic of the sexually transmitted infection.

The shortage, announced by the drugmaker Pfizer in a letter last month, involves Bicillin L-A, a long-acting injectable antibiotic also known as penicillin G benzathine. The company cited significant increases in demand because of the rising rate of syphilis infections, as well as Bicillin’s recent use as an alternative to amoxicillin, another antibiotic that has periodically been scarce and is prescribed for more general infections like strep throat.

From the WSJ on July 11, 2023:

Supplies are running out for a key antidote for life-threatening lead poisoning.

The drug, named dimercaprol, has been a go-to treatment for years for the worst cases of lead poisoning. But doctors have had to scrounge for dwindling doses since the medicine’s sole manufacturer for the U.S. declared bankruptcy in February.

Now that some parts of the country don’t have any supplies left, doctors have been forced to turn to other, less preferred treatments.

A few key takeaways here:

  • Just as you should be thinking a season ahead with your homestead and food supply, you should do the same for medicine. Stock up on your winter meds now.
  • If your insurance lets you buy 90-day supplies of your prescription medications, take advantage of it.
  • Now is not the time for stupid risks.

This article was originally written on Unprepared


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