Summer is “trauma season,” when emergency rooms see a rise in injuries, but a drug supply crisis has doctors scrambling to find alternatives to needed medications

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The Food and Drug Administration defines a drug shortage as a “period of time when the demand or projected demand for a medically necessary drug in the U.S. exceeds its supply.” All too often, a shortage means that doctors cannot give the right drugs to patients when needed

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An alarming shortage of pain meds. Amid a nationwide crisis caused by too-easy access to medical painkillers, hospitals are now struggling to find enough of that same class of drugs to keep their patients’ pain controlled

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A shift toward making multiple medications under one roof is sparking concern about what happens when a facility suddenly shuts down because of a manufacturing or safety issue: Closing a single factory could lead to shortages of hundreds of drugs, say regulators and industry analysts

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Drug shortages don’t sound like the kind of thing that could happen in the United States. Yet shortages of drugs ranging from cancer treatment to painkillers have become commonplace. Guest include our Yoram Unguru

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At some hospitals, posters on the wall in the emergency department list the drugs that are in short supply or unavailable, along with recommended alternatives. The low-tech visual aid can save time with critically ill patients, allowing doctors to focus on caring for them rather than doing research on the fly

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In December 2013, Erika Stallings called to make an appointment to take the BRCA test and was told she first needed to meet with a genetic counselor. The first available appointment was the following May. This five-month wait was unexpected and unwelcome

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Our Yoram Unguru joins host Lisa Autz to discuss shortages of pediatric oncology drugs – focusing on findings from a working group led by Dr. Unguru that provided recommendations for dealing with this difficult situation

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