For 2010, there were shortages of a record number of medications — 178 — in the United States, a situation which has worsened to the point that the majority of U.S. hospitals are now delimiting the use of life-saving cancer drugs and other critical-care medications. Other drugs — from snake anti-toxin, to vaccines — are likewise outright scarce, or subject to intermittent supply problems.
A survey released yesterday reported that 80 percent of 820 hospitals around the nation, are having to delay treatment because of drug shortages, and 70 percent are being forced to resort to providing less-effective substitute drugs in order to treat patients.
This crisis stems directly from the recent years of rampant consolidation and unregulated manufacturing practices in the pharmaceutical cartels, part of the commodity wing of the globalist monetary system, now in collapse. For this reason, under George W. Bush, the flu vaccine scandal occurred, involving lack of supplies and contamination; now, under Rx Obamacare, the crisis is much worse.
The American Hospital Association conducted the survey of 820 hospitals, and released it yesterday on Capitol Hill, to try to get some rapid legislation to deal with the disaster. Among the now-standard horror stories:
* Two-thirds of the hospitals report shortages of chemotherapy drugs for cancer.
* Ninety-percent of the hospitals report shortages of anesthesia and other surgery drugs, and of emergency-care drugs.
* The biggest shortage in 2010 was for the drug succinylcholine, which is used in the procedure to insert breathing tubes into patients' airways.
Hospital technicians and pharmacists, just to cast about and deal with drug shortages in hospitals, spend an additional 17 hours a week, according to a new separate survey by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.
Most of the shortages involve older, generic medications, administered typically by injection or intravenously. These especially include drugs for chemotherapeutics for cancer, antibiotics to treat infections, and nutritional drugs for patients who cannot ingest food. For Sandoz/Novartis Ag and others of the international Big Pharma cartel, there is no "percentage" in making and supplying these medications. This is the London/Obama principle in action, also supported by "free-enterprise" lunatics of all stripes.
To add to the crisis, as of July 1, any hospital will not be paid by the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, for treating a Medicaid patient, if that patient, while in the hospital, happens to acquire an infection, or suffer from another CMS-designated hospital "fault." This is Obamacare in action — kill the people and shut the hospital.
Besides hospitals, physicians and public health authorities are sounding the alarm. For example, there is a shortage of vaccine for shingles (the viral, neurological disease, producing a geriatric resurgence of childhood Chicken Pox), which strikes one million Americans and can cause permanent damage. The vaccine Zostavax, patented by Merck, was approved five years ago by the Food and Drug Administration, and advised for everyone aged 60 and over, which is the most vulnerable population. In March, the FDA approved it for people 50 and over. But there has never been enough vaccine for any age cohort. In 2009 (the last survey year available), only 10 percent of adults aged 60 and over were vaccinated.
Accordingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Public Health Service have refrained from launching a campaign to encourage shingles vaccinations, because Merck won't supply enough of the drug, under Obamacare economics. "There hasn't been a single year since the vaccine was licensed in 2006 that there's been no problem with supply," said CDC epidemiologist Dr. Rafael Harpaz.