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Drug shortages hit an all-time high
December 16th, 2011
10:22 AM ET

Drug shortages hit an all-time high

Between 2006 and 2010, drug shortages increased by more than 200%, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday. There were a record 196 shortages last year, and even more are expected in 2012.

“These shortages often force Americans to go without treatment,” Senator Tom Harkin said.

Renee Mosier is one of those patients who has been forced to forgo treatment and look for alternatives. The 61-year-old was first diagnosed in 2006 with ovarian cancer. After several successful surgeries and chemotherapy treatments, the cancer came back this past June.

Her doctor suggested a chemo regimen that included Doxil, one of the most successful drugs to help keep ovarian cancer at bay. The only problem? Doxil wasn’t available. It is one of the drugs on the drug shortage list, and has not been available for several months. On average, the GAO report found that most shortages last more than 9 months.

For Mosier, it’s not just about waiting for the drug. “It’s a life and death thing,” she says.

More than half of the drugs of the shortage list are considered critical, meaning there are no other alternatives for them. Doxil has no generic equivalent. The drugs most often in short-supply included anesthetics and oncological drugs.

The report pointed to manufacturing issues, such as shutdowns, and technical difficulties as being some of the biggest reasons for the drug shortages.

In addition, many drugs, like Doxil, are very difficult to technically replicate. So, once there is a shortage, it is almost impossible for another manufacturer to start producing a similar drug to relieve the shortage.

The report suggested that the Food and Drug Administration could better respond to the shortages if manufacturers were required to report to the FDA of potential shortages, allowing the FDA to find alternatives to deal with the potential shortage. Currently there is no such legislation requiring drug manufacturers to do so, and the FDA most frequently finds out about shortages from doctors and patients.

In addition, the FDA does not maintain its own drug shortage data, which would better enable the FDA to monitor trends.

A result of the drug shortage has been price gouging and the creation of a “grey market” for hard-to-find drugs. “Aggressive measures are necessary to crack down on anti-consumer practices promoted by so-called 'gray markets' that inflate prices, creating a public health menace," Senator Richard Blumenthal said. "There should be zero tolerance for profiteering or price gouging in these essential drug markets.”

President Obama did sign an executive order this past October requiring the FDA to expedite regulatory reviews of drug manufacturers and investigate price gouging.

Building on the Executive Order in October, the White House also announced on Thursday that they will immediately begin requiring some drug manufacturers to report production interruptions to the FDA. The manufacturers that have to report to the FDA are those drug manufacturers that have no generic equivalent and are critical to maintaining life.

In addition, there are currently two bills before Congress that address the issue. But while Congress tries to create some sort of solutions, patients like Renee Mosier are forced to wait.

“You just don’t expect it to happen here."


soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. Portland tony

    You can bet there's no shortage where there's a high demand and good profit margin. There are three obstacles to maintaining sufficient supplies. Demand, price and shelf life. No one's gonna make a million doses of a Med when the demand is for say 10k a year. So I as smart investor by up all 10k at low market price and sell to highest bidder when somebody needs the drug. etc...etc

    December 16, 2011 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • just telling the truth

      in the case of prescription pain medicine your point is wrong. Very high demand, high profit market and there are shortages....

      December 16, 2011 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
    • Joshua Ludd

      "So I as smart investor by up all 10k at low market price and sell to highest bidder when somebody needs the drug. "

      For "smart investor" insert disgusting, saprophyte monster.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      all the supplies went through pill mills and are being sold on the streets right now.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:45 | Report abuse |
    • kim

      Portland Tony your..."as a smart investor" is what's wrong with society today.....remember a few years back when investing on a terminally ill individual life (based on actuary tables and statistics) was a 'smart investment'....you we're probably BIG on that .....I met you made a killing in that market (no pun intended).....LOSER.....

      December 16, 2011 at 14:45 | Report abuse |
    • FauxNews

      Shelf life is factored into the price, so there is only demand, price, and government regulations. They have run out because their price was too low, probably because it was set by the government.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
    • oneSTARman

      KIDNEY SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER – That is a GRIMM Society in MY Opinion.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
    • Jordan

      Your argument makes no sense at all; one can't just "buy up" 10k doses of a drug. I just busted your whole argument. I work in a pharm company, and there is no way a lot could just "go missing" to the highest bidder. Sorry!

      December 16, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      so in essence youre treating pills like oil or precious metals. hmm never thought about the pharm futures market

      December 16, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • JK

      Agreed. This is a demonstration why a profit driven medical system fails. The medical system is much more efficient if socialized because the "right/correct" thing to do for the common good is not always the profitable way. And because the right/correct thing to do is not done, society as a whole suffers for neglect and unnecessary costs (phsyical, social and financial). In the short term, I say the first time a pharmeceutical allows a necessary drug to go short, they lose their patent.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      This counrty is a joke. I used to think our counrty was the best in the world. Our government isn't doing their job and most of these bone heads should be fired. They have the best benefits and most of them are rich and don't care about the people that vote them in office. More people have to start paying attention and vote these loads out of office.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:10 | Report abuse |
    • Time Bandit

      Exactly Right Portland tony...Big pharma knows if they cut back on production, hospitals and patients will pay more, this inturn causes insurance rates to go up. This country is OVERPILLED, you'd be surprised how many people are taking drugs because their doctor tells them to. Doctors get kickbacks for prescribing patients drugs, my dad was one of them. When he lived in Virginia, he was taking 10 different prescriptions. When he moved to PA, his new doctor took him off everything to evaluate his overall health. Now....my dad only takes 4 prescriptions. People want a quick fix through drugs, not all doctors are crooks. Here's a good article to read: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/21/drug-giant-accused-of-bri_n_838453.html

      People need to take control of their health, don't rely strictly on what your doctor tells you. Also, don't believe everything your doctor tells you, get a second opinion or even a 3rd if you have to. If you have a health condition, educate yourself and read online medical journals and university reports.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:28 | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Medication that can literally SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE, is not something anyone should get to speculate on, like it's on the commodities market. That's plain wrong.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
    • ADiff

      Action is desirable, but all the Obama administration appears to have done is add to disincentives to produce such medications...that's not the way to solve these kinds of problems....unless one views the complete unavailability of these drugs as a 'solution' that is. Another case of the Obama administration doing the wrong thing for the (purportedly) right reasons.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
  2. test

    last i heard medical marijuana was booming.
    oh wait, that a demonic drug for sub human addicts. Thats not real 'medication', only the FDA can tell you what medication is.
    Most drugs put out by pfizer are not worth taking (excluding those with immediate life threatening relief), the market of drugs is bent on precribing you a pill for any possible problem you could have.
    They want your money, and they want to tell you how to spend it.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Daisy96

      I couldn't have said it any better. Pharmaceutical companies would face billions in losses if MJ is legalized.
      Wouldn't it be interesting to see the monetary amount of 'contributions' made by pharma companies to the anti-MJ campaigns in the past 10 years?
      It grows from the earth. It's been around since the beginning of time. And during the first 150 years as a United States of America, MJ was legal. Hmmm...........

      December 16, 2011 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • MICKY D

      If MJ was legalized, a lot of the drugs today could become obsolete, but the drug companies know this and don't want it to happen!

      December 16, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
    • MICKY D

      AND MJ is a natural herb!

      December 16, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
    • JOH

      People forget the FDA passed many food/medication that later turned up disastrous. What happened? FDA just stamped a piece of paper and the company that made it got in trouble. The FDA employees were in their conference room sipping wine while bragging to their friends how our tax money pays for their incompetence.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • maraina

      truth. its all about money. and we all will soon suffer for it.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • steve

      The active ingredient in MJ is tetrahydrocannibinol. It has been legal for years and is
      available under the trade name of Marinol. The drug has been produced by the pharmaceutical industry and
      is available via prescription.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  3. Diane Myers

    The reason drugs and health care are so expensive in this country can be summed up in 1 sentence. IT'S a BUSINESS!
    Drugs as well. Its all $$$$$ for companies around the world! No other developed country pays for any of its health care like we do. Why? Because their governments feel the health of their people is government function. The govn of these countries negotiates with drug companies on prices. Even Cuba has a health care system that provides low cost drugs to its people,as well as health care! A healthy society costs a lot less than a sick one! But that would defeat the goals of the RICH, GREEDY REPUBLICANS and Corporations!

    December 16, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julnor

      Other countries blackmail drug companies by refusing to extend their patent rights unless they sell the drugs at cost. Since someone has to pay for R&D and the possibility that there will be a harmful side effect in 1% of the population that will result in huge lawsuits, that falls to us.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:22 | Report abuse |
    • Stepen

      Greedy politicians...not just republicans. You should really look at who you support...everyone. It's not about party affiliation. We all need to learn that lesson.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Funny how this greed leading to higher prices is selective to certain industries like health care. i guess the technology sector must be run by selfless saints. in the technology sector prices keep falling and quality keeps improving. i guess the tech CEOs need to take some business lessons from health care CEOs about how to be more greedy.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      Julnor is full of excuses and zero solutions.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
    • Ghost of Dickens

      @Ryan. But healthcare is not a choice in the same way as technology plus it's not easy to add that 'sexy' new option to a medication.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
  4. pixilator

    I have been personally affected by these issues. Two drugs that I regularly take came up short for two months, and another drug went from $12.54 per100 capsules, up to over $80.00 in one months time.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sick n tired

      Thats a pretty good return on the pharma co's investment don't you think?

      December 16, 2011 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
    • MICKY D

      Ha! and you probably could get them in a foreign country for half that price or less!

      December 16, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
  5. Kay

    If I were needing a drug for cancer that was in short supply, I would instead look at the natural cures. The Gerson Therapy or some of the other cures that are out there that are cheaper and work without killing the immune system. In fact – I would do that before I would take pharmaceuticals. These drug companies are evil.

    December 16, 2011 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill

      Worked well for Steve Jobs! Oops, never mind.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:12 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Oh boy. No argument that chemotherapy causes horrible side-effects, but you know what else causes horrible physical suffering? Cancer. At least the standard chemotherapy regimens have been shown to be efficacious against cancer. Gerson's therapy has been shown not to be effective.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
  6. crabman

    the shortage is caused by the companys who make them -– come on people this is just another fatazz money hungry way to line pockets - its a joke – just another reason to use the R word - its gonna happen one of these days and you will have to pick a side AGAIN

    December 16, 2011 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julnor

      The supply of these drugs was much lower before they were approved. Why is it that people think that when a new treatment becomes available that they have a right to an unlimited supply to it?

      December 16, 2011 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      Julnor,

      Can a company run 3 shifts and do whatever it takes to repair equipment before it breaks during an overnight scheduled outage? Is there anything these companies can do to increase their production? Is there any room for improvement?

      If you think not, You make me scared.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
  7. CrazyMedic

    You can bet the only reason that there is a shortage is due to the lowered insurance reimbursements and greed. They can say what they want but the truth is always the green back.

    December 16, 2011 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. mseikeh

    Wouldn't you say something is VERY WRONG WITH THE WORLD WHEN YOU learn that unemployement is at all time high and a product so in NEED, is in shortage...
    We can afford to place in the market 200 pair of shoe for every walkling person.... but not enough drugs....OR WE WOULDN'T WANT TO PRODUCE enough. My reasoning tells me pharma prefer the shortage so that the WISARD OF THE VILLAGE CAN KEEP all villagers at his mercy.... I am not sure how much we evolved in all thoses thousands of years....

    December 16, 2011 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Stinker

    Good. We have to many people on this earth as it is.

    December 16, 2011 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reefer

      Your right...So you gonna help everyone out and kill yourself...Come on man, be a bud and do it... remember put your head completely in front of the shotgun...dont screw this up like everything else in your life...and I guess now would be a good time to let you know alot of people been banging your wife...

      December 16, 2011 at 14:35 | Report abuse |
  10. dickie

    Hey cnn.com, here is why there is a shortage. http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/12/bedford-based_ben_venue_shutdo.html

    December 16, 2011 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Joshua Ludd

    So, which is disproven here? That the free market economy will solve all our problems... or that the US is still a first world nation?

    December 16, 2011 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julnor

      What we learned is that there is not an unlimited supply of anything, especially when it is difficult to make.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
    • Reefer

      It doesnt real prove anything except that drug companies cause shortages on purpose to increase costs... Its all BS.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      Julnor is an excuse maker, not a problem solver.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
  12. Lee

    The alarming things in this article are not the shortages, they are that (1) the GAO is involved in reporting about the pharma industry and (2) the presumption that the FDA can somehow manage the output of private companies. Lastly so called "price-gouging" is the normal market price for anything that is very rare. That is the way it is supposed to be. If a manufacturer were "to be nice" and offer a rare product at "regular rates", that would prompt wealthy enough buyers to simply buy up everything on the market (diamond for the price of coal, why not?). High price ensures the product is distributed on an as needed basis. And the market provides this service for free, no bureaucrats needed.

    December 16, 2011 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nofah Kingweigh

      And such a fine market it is that can kill people who don't have the means to pay for their medications.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
    • Ghost of Dickens

      So you think deliberate shortages are OK? It may look good to the bandits. Look what Enron did to electricity prices in California a few years ago. Methinks no one in California would agree with your point.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:39 | Report abuse |
  13. j

    Just another reason why weed is still illegal. It's one pain reliever that will never run into a shortage.

    Big Pharma has to keep it illegal, so they can keep up the false pretenses of "shortages" on THEIR meds, and charge you double

    December 16, 2011 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reefer

      Yeah man...lets get high... feel no pain...vote democrat...rape and commit crimes and get high....high.... and protest... yeah weed man...its the stuff we need...Lets get high and sleep with our sister....

      December 16, 2011 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • Scones

      Ive never met a stoner who was motivated enough to rape someone.
      MJ is a legitimate painkiller that is very easy to produce. Yeah people abuse it, but people abuse prescription drugs even more. If a drug, legal or not, produces any kind of "buzz", it's going to be abused.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
  14. Yugo

    Why is there more pot in the country than Doxil? Doxil is legal – pot is not. Maybe if we reversed things, we wouldn't have a Doxil shortage and pot wouldn't be such a big deal. 😉

    December 16, 2011 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reefer

      Yeah we need more stoners in America....There aint enough pedophiles getting high, raping people at protests and smelling like poop.... We should all get high, blow smoke in babies faces..Its all good... Go and vote democrat...worship Obama our Muslim god

      December 16, 2011 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
    • Iconoclast

      @reefer- You make the most convincing argument yet for Obama and legalizing cannabis. If going without pot means we turn into the likes of you, people would be lighting up in the street right now! You can stick with the pharmaceutical industrys' witches brew they hand out as medicine, I think I'll stick with the safe stuff thank you very much! BTW I'm approaching 60, don't have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, no heart problems, sleep very well every night and look forward to Obama's reelection and the final eradication of the disease known as republicans.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
  15. CJ

    What a joke. Maybe we need a non for profit drug manufacturer to strictly deals with shortage issues only and is not allowed to produce a drug unless there is a known shortage. Maybe the FDA should make the drug generic if the orignal manufaturer does not produce enough to keep up with demand.

    December 16, 2011 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julnor

      Go for it. Let me know how it works out. You can get another mortgage on your house to fund it.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • Julnor

      I am sure that these drugs require specialized equipment and specialized processes and specialized, proprietary knowledge. You usually just don't have that stuff laying around "just in case"

      December 16, 2011 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      My first choice would be for the Original Manufacturer to do their job and make sure there is enough product around to keep the people alive who need it. If they are losing money on the product maybe the FDA could give them a subsidy in the name of keeping people alive who need the drug. There are solutions to these types of problems and they must be explored. I refuse to believe there is nothing that can be done.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:25 | Report abuse |
  16. Ginger K

    So these are the death panels Palin was talking about.

    December 16, 2011 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NateFromIndiana

      The thing Palin neglected to mention was that death panels already exist in the form of insurance company claims reviewers whose bonus pay incentives bias them to reject coverage for procedures. This "drug shortage" situation is price gouging, but it doesn't involve any specific ghoulish bureaucrat stamping "CLAIM REJECTED" on a coverage application.

      December 16, 2011 at 19:22 | Report abuse |
  17. Reefer

    Wow, I freaked for a moment.... I have a big OWS protest coming up this weekend and I thought that we would have to do it drug free.... I have so many pressures, I dont wanna work... I am dirty high and drunk most of the time.... I vote democrat and I enjoy commiting crimes and causing problems. CNN please dont scare me and the others in OWS we need our drugs or we would wake up to the fact that we are a waste of skin and a parasite of the country.

    December 16, 2011 at 14:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • satan

      Nice strawmanning.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
  18. Nofah Kingweigh

    What a fantastic busines model; get them hooked, then claim "shortage" to extract the highest price! I'll bet the 1% don't experience any drug "shortages".

    December 16, 2011 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Reefer

      Sure we do...Cocaine is too often stopped coming over the border because dirty mexicans get caught and we have a shortage...get a clue.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • Nofah Kingweigh

      Just got back from the clue shop. They tell me things are so bad that even the 1% has to manufacture their own methamphetamine! Now get back to your "kitchen" reefer boy!

      December 16, 2011 at 14:34 | Report abuse |
    • Reefer

      Times are tough for everyone...but at least the mexicans are good business men, because of the shortages they have been selling their sisters for half price...So its only a buck an hour now instead of two. Kniock at the door...looks like im getting some coke and BJ... Gotta love America.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:38 | Report abuse |
  19. LaPoof

    DANGEROUS PROFITS – We have created a really stupid situation for ourselves making medicine PROFIT Based. I can't believe that good DRUGS could not be developed and produced as required to meet the NEED for those Drugs. WE as a Society need to better fund RESEARCH and HEALTH CARE for our Citizens who (after ALL) are US. All 100% of US.

    December 16, 2011 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julnor

      Just start your own drug company. Let me know how it goes. You'll need capital so you'll have to mortgage your house or use your retirement funds or your kid's college fund. But don't worry, it's not for profit. Hope you get FDA approval and don't get sued because 10 yrs from now 1% of the population has a bad side effect.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:38 | Report abuse |
    • oneSTARman

      @JUNIOR – the IDEA is that Universities are to be FUNDED to do the RESEARCH and the MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX Produces Vaccines and Drugs – because HEALTH is a NATIONAL SECURITY Matter.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      Julnor is a real piece of work. He just loves to shoot down every complaint and will not and can not make any suggestions on how we as a nation can prevent this type of problem?

      December 16, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      Julnor is a real piece of work. He just loves to shoot down every complaint and will not make any suggestions on how we as a nation can prevent this type of problem?

      December 16, 2011 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
  20. chicagok

    This is called Obamacare! Obama and his super majority have redefined health care in the US. They couldn't read their bill! They didn't understand their bill! So they passed it! Now that is clearly lack of intelligence and lack of leadership. If you don't know what you are doing, get out of the way! Pelosi and Reid said they couldn't read! And Obama only reads teleprompters! The US economy and health system has been defined by the Democrat Super Majority. Live with it or oust the tyrants – who can't read or write!

    December 16, 2011 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MICKY D

      Yeah all your problems are caused by the pesky Democrats! Right? How about you do some research instead of popping garbage out of your head!

      December 16, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      "Obamacare" hasn't even started yet.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:42 | Report abuse |
    • Ghost of Dickens

      Need another drink?

      December 16, 2011 at 16:42 | Report abuse |
  21. Julnor

    Lots of people commenting who apparently have never been involved in producing a product. Equipment breaks, maintenance must be done, capacity is sometimes outpaced by demand, product yield varies, raw materials shortages occur, etc.

    December 16, 2011 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MICKY D

      And sometimes a shortage needs to occur so they can raise the prices!

      December 16, 2011 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      So you are just fine with the idea of people dying because there is a shortage on a Drug? As far as equipment breaking, Preventative Maintenance and Reliability Engineering is used for the exact purpose of preventing this problem.

      Do you have any bright ideas or are you just happy to shoot down everyone elses ideas? What soultion would you recommend? Friend-O

      December 16, 2011 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
  22. oneSTARman

    PLAGUE – Just ONE of the Reason that Pharmaceutical Production should be considered a NATIONAL SECURITY Issue. Just WHY would You ....Mr Tea Party Hat Guy of so last week...NOT want that 'Illegal' looking guy coughing in the check Out Line line front of you to have a TB shot? Health care for EVERYBODY is a Good thing for EVERYBODY All 100% of US.

    December 16, 2011 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pointless1

      Break out your wallet then... I don't pay for a taco I can't eat.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
    • oneSTARman

      @Pointless apparently also CLUELESS if you do not REALIZE that you Pay DEARLY for the POOR HEALTH of those around you. NO MAN IS AN ISLAND – you are perhaps a peninsula...

      December 16, 2011 at 14:50 | Report abuse |
  23. bniagra assell

    i like poop

    December 16, 2011 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Cindy

    This is what happens when single drug companies hoard patents on life saving drugs. How are you all liking capitalism?

    December 16, 2011 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pointless1

      It's worked since the day of dawn sweetheart.... it always will be that way too...

      December 16, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
    • oneSTARman

      CAPITALISM is a Norman Rockwell Painting of Camps of Homeless surrounded by Barbwire WALL STREET BANKS use to keep them away from their EMPTY FORECLOSED Homes.

      December 16, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
  25. TSM

    My son has a chronic illness that is treated by one of the drugs involved in the shortage. He was starting to have problems so we went online and ordered it from a Canadian pharmacy. I asked them if they had experienced a shortage and the customer service agent said she hadn't heard of any problems. We received the prescription in about a week and it was cheaper than we have been paying.

    December 16, 2011 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MICKY D

      Good idea! Maybe some of these people on this blog that need drugs that are short in the US should do the same!

      December 16, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
    • Iconoclast

      The ability to buy prescription drugs(with legitimate prescriptions) outside of the US is being threatened right as we speak by the american pharmaceutucal industry and their lobbying the FDA. Free market medical care, my a$$!

      December 16, 2011 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
  26. oneSTARman

    We pay for the Schools that Educate our CHILDREN and the Roads upon which the GOODS of the Nation are we ourselves Move – COLLECTIVELY – because just as the MILITARY Defends the Whole Nation So does the HEALTH Care System.

    December 16, 2011 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mary

    If it is a drug SHORTAGE then it is an all-time low. LOL

    December 16, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. John

    The drug shortage is due to the pharma fat cats firing all of their chemists so they can line thier own pockets. Not enough chemists to make the drugs everyone needs.

    December 16, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Justin

      Correction: Pharma fat cats have outsourced all the chemist jobs to India and China! I have a medicinal chemistry PhD, and what do I do? I make explosives. Why? The job requires US Citizenship! So the point is that all the chemist who have been laid off have found other work away from big pharma.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
  29. maraina

    Why don't they decrease the amount of prescription pain killers insted of helpful drugs... im sure the painkillers are plenty full -_-

    December 16, 2011 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Craig Huffstetler

      Actually Oxycontin (one of the #1 used pain killers for chronic pain) and Oxycodone are also on the shortlist. You can review all medications at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugShortages/default.htm

      December 16, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
  30. Sara

    Try Florida, they have legal "pain clinics" that give you all the addictive pills you need! Just make sure to have lots of cash because insurance is not accepted at these clinics. Big pharma has the biggest drug ring of any dealer in the world.

    December 16, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rumdumb

    I'm praying for all those who need these drugs, it looks like the drug manufactures and now holding these poor sick people hostage.

    December 16, 2011 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Xtype

    Have some PILLS! have some more!!! more pills more pills!! perhaps if doctors didn't over medicate everybody such things wouldn't be in the headlines (if they are even true).. The answer to everything down there is more drugs.. Doctor's hand out even powerful pain killers and narcotics like they are candy. Now that most of the population is hooked on meds, whats going to happen if there indeed IS a shortage.. would be a scary day!

    December 16, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. The Meek

    Maybe, just maybe, the shortage is caused by someone (like the elite who have the $$ and power to do such a thing) buying up and hoarding certain drugs in anticipation of some unnamed disaster. Just a flash!!

    December 16, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Poppy Lee

      Why would anyone be hording meds as diverse as local anesthetics, 50ml vials of calcium gluconate and antibiotic eye drops?

      December 16, 2011 at 16:04 | Report abuse |
  34. kinglywarrior

    "Drug shortages hit an all-time high"

    Better call Sam Hurd!

    December 16, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CJ

      Now that is funny.

      December 16, 2011 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
  35. Poppy Lee

    Just today I tried to refill a generic med I'd been taking for the past four years. The drug is on "long-term back order, no known ship date." I have no choice but to switch to another drug (less effective, more side effects) or pay for the brand.

    December 16, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julnor

      Or you could just stop taking it altogether.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
    • Poppy Lee

      That is not an option.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Julnor is clueless. Oh yeah, just stop taking the medicine you need to not die.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
  36. killallthewhiteman

    I bet their profits are up.

    December 16, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julnor

      Considering they have people working overtime or are fixing equipment or are installing new capacity, I doubt they are making more money.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
  37. Trinka

    @reefer:
    Yours was, by far, the stupidest post I've read today; in your efforts to be funny (?) and topical, you've just succeeded in looking like a bitter loser. Congratulations!

    December 16, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Fddffg

    I need drugs too weed crack etc

    December 16, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Fddffg

    Cancer is a fake disease exasperated by biomedical researchers using non consenting subjects promoting infections.

    December 16, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. paganguy

    Speculators are the leeches of society. We should ship them all to China. They wil get proper treatment there.

    December 16, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. max

    this is a matter of national security. americans are dying. give the drug companies an option – either produce and sell the drugs that have passed the approval process or lose the patent on the drug early, allowing for orphans.

    wanna bet the drug companies produce rather than lose IP?

    December 16, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Solex

    Doesn't ever seem to be a shortage of Viagra...

    December 16, 2011 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. J-Pap

    Yeah, weed is scarce here too

    December 16, 2011 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • us1776

      For crying out loud, just throw a few seeds in your backyard.

      December 16, 2011 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
  44. Jones

    And corrupted by greedy Jew CEOs like Bernie mad off who monopolize pharmaceutical industries with no regard for human life only

    December 16, 2011 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Dave

    Actually Jews account for only Eighty percent of pharmaceutical CEOs

    This explains a lot....

    December 16, 2011 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. us1776

    There's little profit to be made in many of these drugs so they don't get produced.

    This is part of the problem with profit-driven healthcare.

    .

    December 16, 2011 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Julnor

      You mean the profit driven healthcare that resulted in the creation and manufacture of these drugs in the first place?

      December 16, 2011 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
    • us1776

      Julnor, Mr. Excuse again.

      Profit-driven healthcare only produces "profitable" drugs. Which are a mere subset of all the medications required to keep people healthy. This is why some drugs have skyrocketed to enough unaffordable levels. When you take profit-driven greedy companies out of the healthcare equation then you get healthcare products and processes that make sense from a purely healthcare standpoint. Healthcare is no place for greed.

      .

      December 17, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
  47. jefflebowski

    ...thats because doctors are writing scrips at a record pace.

    December 16, 2011 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Julnor

    Ah CJ, I am just telling you how the real world works. You want to believe that there is some great conspiracy to limit the supply of drugs. Companies want to sell product. They buld their factories for their expected capacity. They are not making widgets, they are making complex chemical compounds that require time. Remember, nine women can't make a baby in one month. The article doesn't even come close to saying wha the actual problem is, so how can anyone sit there and say what the solution is? All i can say is that as a person who has worked in industries that actually produce product, I can tell you that every company wants to sell more.

    December 16, 2011 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Poppy Lee

      If you look at the FDA Drug Shortages site, the two reasons most stated by the drug companies are "Increased Demand" and "Manufacturing Delays."

      December 16, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
  49. Poppy Lee

    Much of these shortages are meds used in hospitals and ERs - vials of anti-hypertensive drugs, diuretics and anti-arrhythmic drugs used in codes. Some are drugs used to counteract allergic reactions (injectable benadryl), others for acute infection such as injectable levaquin. These are not narcotics or drugs people purchase by prescription.

    December 16, 2011 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Julnor

    All those claiming that this is some sort of evil conspiracy by companies to withhold drugs to kill people seem to forget about all the people who were saved because the companies did the hard work and made huge investments to develop and produce the drugs in the first place.

    December 16, 2011 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • evensteven

      That doesn't prevent said companies from creating artificial shortages to push the price of drugs up . . .

      December 16, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.