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Drug Shortages Still High, But Numbers Are Improving

05/04/12

  11:10:32 am, by MedBen5   , 162 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Drug Shortages Still High, But Numbers Are Improving

The number of scarce drugs is still higher than anyone would like, but the situation has definitely improved since last year. According to the Food and Drug Administration, 42 new shortages have been reported so far this year, compared to 90 in the same period in 2011.

As Reuters notes, the FDA stepped up its efforts to combat shortages last year when 250 medicines were in short supply, up from 56 in 2006. Many of the shortages were for cancer drugs and other vital medications, leaving doctors to find more costly or less effective alternatives, or even postpone care.

The most recent FDA list states there are currently about 120 drugs regarded as being in short supply. And the scarcity of drugs like leucovorin, used in the treatment of childhood leukemia, or fentanyl, used in anesthesia, are still affecting patients. The FDA is working with companies to resolve the issue.

Earlier this year, the agency loosened its rules regarding foreign medicines to allow temporary importation of needed cancer drugs.

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