Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle
reported record shortages of prescription drugs in the United States are forcing pharmacists and doctors to scramble to find medications for their patients, suitable alternatives, or to delay potentially lifesaving treatments.
Federal recalls, production problems and corporate decisions to discontinue certain medications for financial reasons are cited as the chief causes of the dwindling drug supplies.
In 2006, 70 drugs were in short supply. By the end of last year, the number had jumped to 211, according to the University of Utah Drug Information Service, which tracks prescription drug shortages. Some 190 drugs are currently hard to come by.
More than 90 percent of U.S. hospitals polled by the American Hospital Association in June reported experiencing a drug shortage in the past six months, and nearly 45 percent said they had experienced at least 21 shortages during that time.
[caption id="attachment_1223" align="alignleft" width="500" caption="Source: California Society of Health-System Pharmacists. * Reasons given by manufacturers."]
Read the full article at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/21/MNJ71KMGDU.DTL