Healthcare providers nationwide continue to face escalating drug shortage
problems. Many health systems have taken the uncommon step of
forming their own nonprofit generic drug manufacturing company. The constant drug shortages and unpredictable price changes have led them
to this decision.
The Problem is Not New
In 2016 the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists lists inadequate
supplies of more than
150 drugs and therapeutics for a variety of reasons. The effects of these shortages have led many hospitals to compete for
limited and back ordered supplies in order to avoid the need for rationing
Meadville Medical Center proactively works directly with multiple sources
to supply all necessary drugs. A group of pharmacists, physicians and
specialists also meet routinely to monitor which drugs may be at low levels
and, when necessary, identify alternative treatment options.
The Problem Escalated with Hurricane Maria
The Food and Drug Administration announced in January that additional efforts
are being taken to minimize the risk of ongoing IV saline shortages. An
already depleted supply was worsened when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto
Rico in September 2017 where 10% of all pharmaceutical drugs consumed
in America are produced. It is expected that supplies of
IV saline should begin to increase through the coming months as facilities in Puerto Rico begin operating at full capacity.
Shortages like this are not isolated. Suppliers like Pfizer, Purdue, Akorn,
Teva and others have back orders and limited supplies for many injectable
dosages of morphine, fentanyl, and dilaudid. It is anticipated that by
March 2018 an additional allocation will be made, however the distribution
process is still unclear.
Meadville Medical Center is always committed to providing the highest quality
of care to our community. Our team of physicians, pharmacists and specialists
will continue to monitor drug shortages on a daily basis