Cheap steroid in shortage after being posited as potential COVID-19 treatment

At least three manufacturers of the common steroid dexamethasone have reported shortages as many hospitals rush to obtain the drug for use as a potential COVID-19 treatment, according to STAT.

Group purchasing organization Vizient reported a 610 percent boost in demand from June 16-19, the period just after preliminary study results suggested dexamethasone — an inexpensive steroid often used to treat asthma, arthritis and some cancers — could improve mortality rates among the sickest COVID-19 patients.

The rate at which drugmakers could fill dexamethasone orders and send them to hospitals dropped from 97 to 54 percent by June 19, according to Vizient.


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