Drug shortages force workarounds in Conn. hospitals

Connecticut hospitals are feeling the effects of national drug shortages, according to the Hartford Courant.

Currently, antibiotics, antipsychotics, intravenous saline and morphine are all in short supply across the U.S. To work around the shortages, Connecticut hospitals are using alternative drugs, rationing supplies or finding new suppliers.

Some clinicians are using different concentrations of a medicine, which requires retraining all staff members on how to administer the new formulation. While this strategy solves the shortage issue, it also increases the potential for errors, said C. Steven Wolf, MD, chief of emergency medicine at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford.

The shortages have become so urgent that Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has called for drug companies to be subpoenaed and investigated to determine if drug shortages are naturally occurring or being artificially created.

"There have to be subpoenas, investigations and document production, so that the potential antitrust violation is explored and documented, if it exists," said Sen. Blumenthal. "Hospitals cannot forever triage. There are real health threats."

More articles on supply chain:

Philips partners with Life-Assist to boost AED supplies in west coast
FDA panel supports Novartis version of Enbrel
As EpiPen prices skyrocket, consumers and EMTs turn to syringes


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