Sunday, November 14, 2010

Drug shortages trouble pharmacists

From the Toronto Star:
There are shortages of some prescription drugs — including tetracycline and some anti-nausea medications for heart and cancer patients — forcing pharmacists to scramble to meet patients’ needs, industry sources say.

The trouble lies with supply shortages, such as difficulties for some manufacturers in getting the active ingredients to make the medicines, creating a domino effect in which demand for similar drugs is going up and leading to sellouts.

“It’s a real problem,” said Dennis Darby of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, adding it was not caused by the provincial government’s reforms forcing a 50 per cent cut in the price of generic drugs last spring.

The shortages are being reported across Canada and beyond.

“There’s lot of things the drug reforms are causing but this isn’t one of them,” added Darby, alluding to complaints from pharmacies that the reforms eroded their profitability and would lead to staff and service cuts. /...more

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