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Nation Faces Worst Drug Shortage

December 13, 2010, 5:10 PM by Kelli Grant

Nation Faces Worst Drug Shortage
SIOUX FALLS, SD - A drug shortage in this country is sometimes common. But pharmacists and doctors say it's getting worse and is compromising the care they give to their patients.

Pharmaceutical supply cabinets are getting low across the nation. That means in some cases, doctors and pharmacists don't really get their drug of choice anymore. Drugs like morphine are in high demand but short supply.

The reason? The shortages involve generic drugs, which don't have a big profit margin. And there also aren't a lot of raw materials available to make the drugs.

The Food and Drug Administration says no patients have died because of the shortage but delays in treatment are happening.

Lynette Seyer, a doctor of Pharmacy at Sanford, is working to stay on top of the shortages. That means constant contact with pharmaceutical reps, as well as physicians.

“On a daily basis, there are quite a few drugs.  I think the list has got over a hundred drugs that are actually on the drug shortages right now,” Seyer said.

Seyer says it's a constant worry, one they share with other hospitals in the state. That's why they're all working together to make sure patients get the medications they need.

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