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.
FIRST THINGS FIRST!!
That Dangerous Daniel Allgyer guy, Amish, capitalist seller of unpasteurized milk must be STOPPED, and his farm shut down!
That kind of regulatory activity is top priority.
Meanwhile, there are shortages of vital medications like never before. Afflicted health care institutions must promulgate politically correct excuses for these shortages, but we know that the role of government in exacerbating this situation has been predominant.
The U.S. has some of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Big Pharma has many incentives, from this, to the OSHA and environmental regulations, to push its production to other countries.
Inside the U.S., if a company wishes to change the site for manufacturing a product, a two year approval process awaits. This means that adapting to drug recalls and shortages is painfully slow. There are tight constraints on production quantities and schedules imposed by the FDA.
A gray market has grown around the shortages. If you know how ticket scalping works……. there are analogous drug scalpers. Since reimbursement for drugs is fixed by medicare and medicaid and other health insurers, health care institutions and providers really can’t afford the gray market prices. There is a need to allocate a team of specialists to manage adaptation to the shortages and a website for clinicians to keep current on the day to day changes and substitutions. The administrators at Pharmer’s workplace have resolved to continue to deal with the shortages without resorting to purchases from the gray market.
Who are the biggest losers? The patients!
The long term result will be to reduce the load on medicare and medicaid, and the government needs that cost containment, especially since the designers of Obamacare have admitted that their cost projections were totally wrong.
So the FDA has more incentive to attend to those dastardly small farmers, than they have to deal with the GINORMOUS drug shortage problem.