Drug Shortages Are Speeding Cancer Deaths, Survey Says

Drug Shortages Are Speeding Cancer Deaths, Survey Says.

The above claim comes from the results of an Epocrates survey of prescribers. The participants are paid a bit for their time, but the input is stirred up to make the submissions anonymous. What they found is that slightly less than half of the oncologists think that the drug shortages of chemotherapeutic agents have caused recurrences of tumors in their patients. This is due to the inability to properly schedule their treatment regimens due to short supplies. About 40 percent of the respondents think that some patients have died sooner as a result.

This article attributes most of the problem to economics: inadequate reimbursement for generic injectables, which discourages production. Pharmer recognizes the contribution of tax rates and government regulatory burdens from employment, to work place, environment, and production to the problem. The documentation of compliance imposes a dizzying cost, preventing new starts into production of pharmaceuticals.

There’s a Drug Shortage Prevention Act being pushed through to address this problem. It appears to address the manner of FDA oversight of drugs on the market to prevent that agency from causing more shortages, but apparently not the reimbursement issue. This might be best, if the cost of drug production is significantly reduced.

Pharmer likes to watch Medscape, because a lot of useful information is distilled there, though by no means without bias. In order to see most of the articles, you have to join. Check it out.

FDA Can’t Handle Drug Shortages, and in Some Cases, is Causing them

Drug Shortages: A Deadly Problem With No Cure in Sight – DailyFinance.

Pharmer’s going to be featuring some articles describing what is seen in the hospitals in the past couple of years……….. ever worsening shortages of chemotherapeutic and injectable drugs.   This has become a severe public health problem due to inability to treat some cancers, and   unnecessary deaths due to unavailable treatments or errors involving drugs used as substitutes.

Here is the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists drug shortage management resource center.

Pharmer thinks this problem has several underlying causes : supply and demand, need to import raw materials,  economic pressures, taxes,  outsourcing, government incompetence, an increasingly useless FDA, natural selection, and death panel philosophy.

The last factor curbs  government enthusiasm for addressing the drug shortage problem vigorously.   Increased deaths lighten the load on social security, medicare and medicaid, and therefore  the shortages  become a means of obamacare  cost control.