UNITED STATES NEWS

Hospitals across the US facing drug shortage, could ramp up in future

Mar 16, 2018, 4:11 AM

FILE - This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodon...

FILE - This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. Walmart is helping customers get rid of leftover opioids by giving them packets that turn the addictive painkillers into a useless gel. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

(AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

PHOENIX — There is a drug shortage at American hospitals and the American Hospital Association said the situation could get worse in the future.

Dr. Terry Simpson told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the current shortage of pain medication should end soon, but patients and doctors alike should expect more shortages.

“The streets of America have plenty of opioids, but they are running low in hospitals,” Simpson said.

Simpson said the drugs that are in short supply included the injectable versions of Dilaudid, a medication that is used in hospitals and hospices for pain control and sedation.

The shortage was caused by several factors.

There were certain allotments of medications that different manufacturers can have and if a major drug company, like Pfizer, was running low on medications, then other smaller companies have to petition to the FDA to increase its manufacturing.

Drug shortages also force different hospitals to use unfamiliar drugs, such as intravenous Tylenol, to manage patients.

Simpson said the shortage should be overcome within the next couple of months, but “it is a constant thing in the modern world of medicine, we will be seeing more of them.”

KTAR News’ Mark Carlson contributed to this report. 

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Hospitals across the US facing drug shortage, could ramp up in future