Hospitals deal with IV drug shortage

8:03 PM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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People head to hospitals hoping to get well, but the healing process has become a little more difficult as hospitals across the nation deal with a severe shortage of some very important drugs.

Health professionals say there is a growing and critical shortage nationwide of electrolyte and mineral products needed for IV nutrition.

Dr. Joe Childs, Chief Medical Officer at East Tennessee Children's Hospital, said, "The issue has been a lot related to the FDA and having to close some pharmacies that didn't meet standards for production of products."

"So that vendor has had some issues in production, whether it's contaminants in that product or just questionable issues," added Dr. Tim Smith, President and Owner of P3 Compounding Pharmacy.

Doctors say the problem is very few pharmacies across the nation are allowed to produce a particular product. When a pharmacy is shut down, a strain is put on the supply.

"It's very concerning that we be able to find these things from pharmaceutical companies," Dr. Childs said.

Dr. Childs said East Tennessee Children's Hospital turns to compounding companies, like P3 Compounding, which are able to make the necessary drugs. However, it can sometimes be more expensive.

Health professionals say this isn't the first time for such; however, people should not panic. Like East Tennessee Children's Hospital, hospitals have alternatives to getting the proper drugs to keep their patient healthy.

To see a complete list current drug shortages, click here.


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