Shortages of dozens of critical drugs have persisted in the United States in recent years, with manufacturing problems cited as a major reason. Some of the drugs in limited supply include anesthetics, chemotherapeutic agents, antibiotics, painkillers and intravenous solutions. An Athens shortage of doxycycline also illustrates the opaque pricing of drugs, devices and medical procedures. The health care system provides very few simple ways for consumers to compare costs before they obtain a service or drug.
The number of drug shortages in hospitals across Georgia and the nation is skyrocketing. Dr. Joel Zivot , Medical Director of the cardiothorasic intensive care unit at Emory Midtown, says it has become a public health emergency.
Georgia’s emergency medical providers are warning ongoing drug shortages could soon threaten the care they’re able to provide in dire situations. Emergency medical technicians said about 30 drugs currently on the Food and Drug Administration’s shortage list are used often in emergency and critical care situations.