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Medication used to treat the most common form of childhood leukemia is in short supply, adding to the largest nationwide shortage of critical lifesaving hospital medications in nearly a decade.
All five pharmaceutical companies that make the injection drug methotrexate, which treats acute lymphoblastic leukemia by slowing the growth of cancer cells, have either slowed and stopped manufacturing of the drug, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The companies have cited high demand or manufacturing delays as reasons for the shortage.
While the FDA can oversee imports of drugs that are in short supply, it cannot regulate how much a company can make. In fact, manufacturers are not required to report shortages to the FDA.
Limited manufacturing, lagging production time and lack of profits from these drugs contribute to the shortages. The production costs for some drugs can outweigh the money that companies can make from them, since many drugs now have cheaper generic alternatives. So manufacturers stop making the drugs.
So far this year, at least 180 drugs that are crucial for treating childhood leukemia, breast and colon cancer, infections and other diseases have been declared in short supply — a record number. Prices for some have risen as much as eightyfold.
While President Obama rests up at Martha's Vineyard, people whose lives should be saved by new and existing cancer drugs are driving from hospital to hospital in search of medicines in short supply thanks in part to Obamacare's implementation.
Over the past two years shortages have developed for over 180 drugs, including cancer treatments. The shortfall is the result of stricter FDA regulation, government price controls on already discounted but complex drugs, and policies that discourage the use of new medications. Companies, facing lower prices, tighter regulation and increasing government control over what drugs will be used and when, are exiting the U.S. market and investing in product development in China and India where, sadly, it is easier and cheaper to produce next-generation medicines.
Obamacare is making the commercialization of newer drugs and devices more difficult.
Though new and faster methods to determine a technology's safety and effectiveness exist, Obama's FDA still demands evidence collected with science and statistical methods developed in the 19th century. To be sure, in the last two years new medicines for AIDS, cancer, lupus and hepatitis have been developed. Yet, these products should have been available sooner if not for FDA nitpicking.
Heres a link for pharma reasons (from the FDA) why there is a shortage.
Originally posted by Maluhia
reply to post by beezzer
I'm no fan of Obama or Obamacare, but, the drug cited in the OP has been around for a while and the reasons for its shortage do not really conform to the info in the article you posted, which seems to refer mainly to next generation medicines.
Originally posted by RealSpoke
reply to post by beezzer
You think insurance companies or pharma is losing out on Obamacare?
The insurance companies stocks went up in value after Obamacare was passed..
It helps them...it guarantees money to them by forcing everyone to have insurance. If everyone has insurance everyone is buying pills.
Plus, medication shortages were around long before Obamacare was even written or passed.
Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
Oddly, the shortage seems to be across several areas. My other half just had to spend a good part of a day running around and calling around to find a pharmacy that had sufficient supply for 1 month of Foculin for our son's ADHD. We aren't in some hick town... All 5 Super Center Walmarts said they were out for being able to fill it and she went Odd...
In 2007, there were 120 drug shortages.
It is expensive to hold capacity ready to make a drug and yet earn no sales from that capacity the vast majority of the time. In our current system this cost would fall on the generic drug firm that chose to build excess capacity or dual source; it would have high costs relative to its competitors. Clearly, in a competitive market, which the generic drug industry is, no firm will choose this route unless it receives a higher price in the market or other compensation
But before shedding any tears for the insurance companies, check their stock prices. One of the most remarkable moments of the administration came on June 24, 2009, when, during a nationally televised ABC News “town hall” meeting on health care from the White House, Mr. Obama told Aetna’s CEO, “Aetna is a well-managed company and I am confident that your shareholders are going to do well.”