Prescription Predicament: Fallout from Drug Shortages


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Millions of people in the U.S. depend on prescription drugs to manage pain, treat medical conditions, and even to help them stay alive. But the country’s drug shortage is making it hard for some people to get the medication they need or pay for the drugs that are available. The FDA says 90 percent of prescriptions in the US are for generic drugs. And according to the National Institutes of Health, most drugs involved in shortages are generic options. So, what can you do?

Filling certain prescriptions is an ongoing battle for doctors and patients in the u-s. According to the American society of health-system pharmacists, there are currently more than 250 medications on the nation’s drug shortage list. The organization says 2023 marked the worst year for shortages in about a decade.

The FDA says shortages are often linked to manufacturing and quality problems, delays, and discontinuations. Among the drugs on the list, two drugs used in chemotherapy. Adderall, which is used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. Lidocaine, a local anesthetic agent used to numb the skin and treat pain. And amoxicillin, which treats bacterial infections and is often prescribed to kids.

Experts say drug shortages also mean higher prices. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there is a 16.6 percent increase in the price of drugs involved in a shortage. And in some cases, alternative drugs were priced at least three times higher.

Health experts offer these tips: check the national drug shortage list for your medication and possible alternatives. Don’t wait until your prescription is almost gone to refill it. Check other pharmacies for availability and if you can’t find the generic version, look for coupons or programs that offer payment help.

Some patients have reported that they receive additional help to reduce some prescription costs from $100 to $10, it’s not allowed if you are already on Medicare.

Contributors to this news report include: Lindsay Dailey, Producer; Bob Walko, Editor

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