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Life-Saving Drug Shortages Announced - Tied To Business Priotities

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posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 08:26 AM
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So, when does the business bottomline become a public safety issue? Or does bottomline ever become the public's goddamn business?

www.dailyfinance.com...


Drug Shortages: A Deadly Problem With No Cure in Sight

News of a shortage tends to get the public's attention. If gasoline or jobs or milk were in short supply, we'd all know about it. But unknown to most Americans, the country is now in the grips of a life-threatening drug shortage. Medical professionals are quite aware of it, however, and they're deeply concerned.

So is the Food and Drug Administration. Unfortunately, the FDA's hands are pretty much tied when it comes to taking steps that could ease this crisis. It's powerless to demand that a drug company produce a particular medication simply because it's becoming dangerously unavailable.

How bad is this situation? A recent survey of health care professionals found the U.S. is experiencing drug shortages of "epic proportion that are often associated with third-world countries." This unprecedented, and growing, shortage of critically important medications is affecting care and endangering patients' lives.


Apparently, the reasons for the shortages aren't all that mysterious....



But when it comes to a company's business decisions, the FDA has no authority. Some companies have decided it's not worth their trouble to produce a certain drug anymore. Such was the case when Teva decided to discontinue the widely used anesthetic propofol. Basically, Teva said it's too hard to make and barely profitable.

A recent trend concerns discontinuation of older products that aren't as profitable as newer ones or that have to regain FDA approvals -- a resource-intensive process. Others simply take lower precedent in production over more profitable drugs.

"Right now we just don't have any authority at all to require companies to increase production or to require other firms to come on the market," Jensen says. FDA also can't require firms to continue making a product, and drugmakers aren't required to report shortages or discontinuations, except for sole manufacturers in certain circumstances.

"We would like to have them report on all discontinuations and shortages, but that's not something we can require, just encourage them to do," Jensen says. She explains that early notifications from manufacturers on issues that could cause shortages have been most helpful because, she says, "many times we can resolve the issue before it becomes a shortage."


I guess it's not a concern until it becomes your own immediate and unresolvable concern. Then...well, I guess it'll only be a temporary concern for you. Certainly not something you'll have to live with. Hell, we all die anyway. You, your loved ones, your own children. No one gets out of here alive. Maybe the fact that hospitals are reporting alarming shortages of specific kinds of drugs that (A) resolve immediate threats to life and (B) have no competing drug or therapy option, means nothing, and will never mean anything to you. Then again, maybe it will mean everything to you someday. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe tonight.

I see it as ironic that these shortages - especially the new shortages of life-saving cancer drugs (noted in the article linked above) - are becoming more and more unresolvable now that pressure has been applied to the financial arm of the healthcare industry in an effort to rein in ballooning costs and soaring profits. I see a lot of things as ironic, though. Maybe I see too much when looking at normal and perfectly reasonable things that are just part of the way life is. I mean, it's not as if we were ever guaranteed anything in life. Or even life, for that matter.

Is it a conspiracy? I don't know. Does it have to possess a paper trail for it to be collusion? Legally, perhaps. Then again, as the lady says, we the people can't force those companies that we granted power over our very societal survival, to care whether we survive or not. Their mission (morally, legally, and by explicit design) is to make as much money as possible for their stockholders. They have a legal obligation to extort capitulation from us as a society, and from our elected government, through whatever means they can employ, short of outright criminal activity. It's no crime to make and implement defensible production decisions. Not a crime that can be prosecuted.

Maybe we blew it a long time agao when we gave the international corporate sector total control over our entire society?

We, the people. Yeah....right. So much for that catch phrase meaning anything when corporations are legally regarded as people until they aren't, and are allowed to revert back to being nationless money-generating machines with no social responsibilities beyond making a very small % of foreign and/or domestic investors extremely wealthy.




posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 09:27 AM
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At my place of employment, it has been tough for us to get certain antibiotics. It seems like antibiotics would be the one type of medication that they would make plenty of.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 10:34 AM
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With the power these and other companies have over society I would like to see them accept more social and environmental responsibility. Just because their accountants don't add it up does not mean it is not costing money. Transparency in the system will also clean up a lot of the corruption as the crooks have no where to hide.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 10:44 AM
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Yeahhhh,

They keep kicking out all of that Roxicodone and Oxicontin though don't they.. Thats one of their biggest cash cows in the States... Then in return they kick out Suboxone for your opioid dependency. They have a win win situation.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 11:10 AM
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I don't like the news as I, as well as other family members, rely on certain prescription drugs. I could go without, but if my son's meds became unavailable, autism would claim him.

But, you can't force a company to produce something that causes them to lose money. Maybe an answer would be to get the company to sign over rights to a non-profit cooperative or something.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by Mountainmeg
 


How does medication prevent autism?



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 11:53 AM
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You know I think along with so many other's we are all abusers of prescribed drugs to the point it wouldn't and doesn't surprise me that business would take advantage of this. I mean we have a cold what do most do? Pop a pill and feel better, got a headache? Pop a pill and feel better. It is getting out of hand really and there needs to be a change, from the go go go society. To the understanding that sometimes the body can't handle that kind of thing. And needs time to recuperate or it will shut down no matter how many drugs you take.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 12:29 PM
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Originally posted by RainTurtle

At my place of employment, it has been tough for us to get certain antibiotics. It seems like antibiotics would be the one type of medication that they would make plenty of.


Actually antibiotics aren't that hard to make. I think that they really should be a last resort, IMO. I do everything I can for myself, before I try to go to the ER and get antibiotics, and actually my system is stronger because of this.
When I get a cold or flu I run down to the occult store and buy the echinacea, elderberry, and menthol tea, when I get a headache I use the white willow bark tea and some mint so it doesn' t taste awful. In case you don't know white willow bark is what they extract aspirin from, so the natural stuff has like all you could ever want.
Also as other threads stated apple cider vinegar is really great for breathing issues.
All these things all have one thing in common, they have no ill side effects! And they all work.
edit on 13-1-2011 by ldyserenity because: spelling

edit on 13-1-2011 by ldyserenity because: spelling & clarity



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by LordBaskettIV
 


It doesn't prevent autism. DS is on a medication that helps control some autistic symptoms such as pacing, hand flapping, noise sensitivity. We wean him off it with doctor assistance every 2 years or so to see if he still needs it, and it's an unequivocal YES. The medication allows him to function in a somewhat normal fashion and mainstream in school successfully. When he doesn't have it, he paces, hums, sticks his fingers in his ears and loses his sense of body awareness (knowing where your body is). The last one leads to self injuries up the ying-yang!

If we could no longer get his medication (which is an SSRI) he would have extreme difficulty functioning.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 02:07 PM
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This is what happens when healthcare is run as a for profit enterprise.

2nd line.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 02:22 PM
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reply to post by Mountainmeg
 


Well that sucks...To be honest, I wasn't even aware that SSRI's could be used that way. I assumed they were for depression only. I take it eating foods high in tryptophan or 5HTP wouldn't work? Anyway, best of luck...hope they grow out of it.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 04:51 PM
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The thing that concerns me is that there are emergency situation drugs that only ERs use - drugs that shut down allergic reactions and quickly flush fluid build-ups that can cause organ failure - and these are the drugs that the article seems to imply are becoming scarce. It's like corporate-to-government extortion, but there's no way to really connect it to the battle to repeal healthcare reform because there is so much plausible denial between that sort of scarcity and the bottomline issue at hand. Hell, any idiot could dismiss that connection, and yet, the connection could very well exist.

The Congress and the President aren't the ones in control of the impact of the new healthcare laws. This belongs to policy bureaucrats, and the implementation will involve thousands of pages of regulations and (no doubt) loopholes. A magazine article like the one I linked in the OP could be just a magazine article. Then again, it could be a heads up to an Executive Branch policy chief that such shortages could very easily become the "new normal" - just as the big business sector has been giving the same heads up that double digit unemployment could easily become the "new normal" if true finacial reform ends up being "improperly implemented" at the policy level. Hell, maybe there's never any such thing as collusion or conspiracy, and maybe trillions of dollars isn't enough money to make people do terrible things?

I know how to shake down normal, decent people and make them afraid of everything. And I know how to do it without leaving a single print on anything anywhere. I'm a f*cking alter boy compared to the monsters that rule international corporateland. I wouldn't even dream of taking one of those sick bastards on if I had a gun and he was wrapped up tight in barbed wire.
edit on 1/13/2011 by NorEaster because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 09:16 PM
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reply to post by LordBaskettIV
 


I found some studies being done in Europe on the use of SSRIs in treating autistic behaviors back in 2002. It's amazing the difference they make. Changes in diet wouldn't produce enough serotonin. I do, however, have him on a gluten free diet which has also made an incredible difference.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 09:21 PM
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Originally posted by NorEaster
The Congress and the President aren't the ones in control of the impact of the new healthcare laws. This belongs to policy bureaucrats, and the implementation will involve thousands of pages of regulations and (no doubt) loopholes. A magazine article like the one I linked in the OP could be just a magazine article. Then again, it could be a heads up to an Executive Branch policy chief that such shortages could very easily become the "new normal" - just as the big business sector has been giving the same heads up that double digit unemployment could easily become the "new normal" if true finacial reform ends up being "improperly implemented" at the policy level. Hell, maybe there's never any such thing as collusion or conspiracy, and maybe trillions of dollars isn't enough money to make people do terrible things?


Not a good scenario. That healthcare bill is just a vortex of unknowns. Congress has no clue what they voted on. And now we're starting to see the effects of is. The most recent wickedness from this bill was the loss of orphan drug discounts for children's hospitals. Now discounts are "not allowed" by Obamacare. Hmmm, wonder how that got in there?




In an unintended consequence of the new health care law, drug companies have begun notifying children’s hospitals around the country that they no longer qualify for large discounts on drugs used to treat rare medical conditions.

As a result, prices are going up for these specialized “orphan drugs,” some of which are also used to treat more common conditions.

Over the last 18 years, Congress has required drug manufacturers to provide discounts to a variety of health care providers, including community health centers, AIDS clinics and hospitals that care for large numbers of low-income people.

Several years ago, Congress broadened the program to include children’s hospitals. But this year Congress, in revising the drug discount program as part of the new health care law, blocked these hospitals from continuing to receive price cuts on orphan drugs intended for treatment of diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.


www.nytimes.com...



posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 02:35 PM
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Originally posted by Mountainmeg

Not a good scenario. That healthcare bill is just a vortex of unknowns. Congress has no clue what they voted on. And now we're starting to see the effects of is. The most recent wickedness from this bill was the loss of orphan drug discounts for children's hospitals. Now discounts are "not allowed" by Obamacare. Hmmm, wonder how that got in there?


That crap got put in there so that the Blue Dog Dems in the Senate wouldn't kill it. Lots of garbage was stuck in there and some really good stuff was stripped out to keep the pro-Insurance votes from killing it outright. It can get ammended, and that fact is why the healthcare industry is turning the screws on all of us right now. They know that the ammedments can be made without congressional action - depending on the scope of the alteration itself - so the fight isn't over.





In an unintended consequence of the new health care law, drug companies have begun notifying children’s hospitals around the country that they no longer qualify for large discounts on drugs used to treat rare medical conditions.

As a result, prices are going up for these specialized “orphan drugs,” some of which are also used to treat more common conditions.

Over the last 18 years, Congress has required drug manufacturers to provide discounts to a variety of health care providers, including community health centers, AIDS clinics and hospitals that care for large numbers of low-income people.

Several years ago, Congress broadened the program to include children’s hospitals. But this year Congress, in revising the drug discount program as part of the new health care law, blocked these hospitals from continuing to receive price cuts on orphan drugs intended for treatment of diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.


www.nytimes.com...


This is another example of the hostage taking that my original post illustrated. Big Pharma and Big Insurance have no legal or structural connection, but money (trillions in revenue) is like the blood flowing from one's veins into the other's veins and back again, and that's the real connection that unites them in common cause. Are conversations collusion? Probably not ina legal sense, and certainly it'd be impossible to prove collusion between Big Pharma and Big Insurance, but the squeeze is definitely being put on vulnerable Americans by each since our elected government took the first steps to challenge the omnipotence of these two mega-entities.

The only way it could be more obvious is if they put out a joint press release announcing that "due to the impending implementation of that healthcare reform bill, we'll be making sure that the stuff you need, and have gotten used to having, to keep you alive and well, begins to get more and more scarce. We just think that it's best if you really understand who it is that you've pissed off with this new legislation."



posted on Jul, 12 2011 @ 12:41 PM
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reply to post by NorEaster
 


MSN reported on this today, again. Now if I get stung there's a darn good chance I'm toast. I have a really severe allergic reaction to bees. Epinephrine saved my life many times.

Drug Shortages Slam Patients


Survey: 99.5 percent of hospitals affected Among the findings from AHA’s online survey that drew responses from 820 of the nation’s 5,100 hospitals: 99.5 percent of hospitals reported one or more drug shortages in the last six months, and nearly half reported shortages of 21 or more drugs. Some 82 percent of those hospitals said they’ve delayed patient treatment because of shortages, or have been unable to treat patients as recommended.


I don't know if this commenter was serious or not, but he makes a scary good point in this comment

The issue will be resolved when Medicare no longer pays for the drugs needed to save lives. No shortages then. And the patients will be gone as well. Seems this resolves two issues at once!


I really hope he was being sarcastic. But maybe, just maybe that's how some people are looking at this.



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