drug shortages


Drug shortages are a problem for almost every hospital system, and executives say that problem will continue over the next few years. That's according to a national survey released today by Premier, a Charlotte-based consulting firm. 

Michael Tomsic

Last spring we reported on a serious problem in hospitals – shortages of critical drugs, including chemotherapy treatments, anesthetics and even basic vitamins. This week Congress passed a bill that could make it easier for hospitals to get drugs they can't find anywhere else. But there are also risks that come with this particular solution. 

Michael Tomsic

Now, a follow-up on a series we aired earlier this year on drug shortages in hospitals. We called it Critical Supply, and we found that compounding pharmacies help hospitals fill the gap with some chemotherapy treatments, emergency crash-cart injections and even basic vitamins that go in IV fluids.

Nine of 10 cancer doctors nationwide have had to delay or change chemotherapy treatments because of drug shortages. That's according to a study released last week, and it's another example of how shortages affect patients.

Michael Tomsic

This week we're examining what one pharmacist calls the new normal for hospitals. In the Carolinas and across the country, hospitals are barely maintaining supplies of a wide variety of drugs - some basic, many life-saving. 

Michael Tomsic

This week we're reporting on a serious problem in health care. Hospitals are almost running out of a wide variety of critical drugs, including chemotherapy treatments, anesthetics, and even basic vitamins. There are hundreds of shortages, and hospital pharmacists and doctors say that's making it more difficult to care for patients.

Drug Shortages Pose Dangers To Hospitals, Patients

Mar 18, 2013
Michael Tomsic

Around this time last year, many hospitals across the country almost ran out of two life-saving cancer drugs. They scraped by with the help of emergency shipments from overseas.

The availability of those two drugs has improved. But they're still in short supply, as are hundreds of others. They include first-choice chemotherapy treatments and anesthetics that are essential for surgery. It's the new normal, as one hospital pharmacist told us.

This week, WFAE's Michael Tomsic examines the problem in our series Critical Supply. Here's the first of his three reports.