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Health Tip: Keeping an Eye on Drug Shortages

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There is an epidemic going on in the health care system that you may not be aware of--roughly 150 drugs are in limited supply. Among the drugs, according to a USA Today article posted online and as reported by the American Society of Healthcare System Pharmacists, are injectable drugs such as morphine, amikacin (an antibiotic for serious bacterial infections), and carmustine (a chemotherapy drug).

Why should this concern you? Even if it has not affected you yet, it could. If you were to be hospitalized, there’s no telling if a certain drug necessary to treat your condition would be available or not. Some hospital systems such as one in southwestern Washington state is moving products in short supply between its locations to try and meet demand.

Additionally, the situation has caused some health care providers to use “second choice” options for treatment, and sometimes with products where dosing isn’t familiar to the staff.

Why is this happening? We’ll look at some of the possible causes in the next article.

Do you have a question about medicines, and the political side of health care? Check out EmpowHER’s pages. Sign-up, post a question, share your story, connect with other women in our groups and community, and feel EmpowHERed!

USA TODAY: Drug Shortages Forcing Some Risky Alternatives
The Columbian, and The Chicago Tribune: Hospitals Grapple with Drug Shortage

Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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