Drug Shortages Force Unorthodox Solutions

When you’re a hospital and finding it really difficult to source prescription drugs, even generics, what do you do? You start your own pharmaceutical company. At least that’s the strategy being used by a group of health systems to cope with shortages and high costs. It’s a sign of the mounting frustration with the traditional supply system and traditional drug makers. A shortage in a variety of generic drugs has caused major problems across the US drug supply chain. People aren’t able to get the medication they need and hospitals can’t source it. That’s not a reassuring thing. We would expect that when hospitals need a medication it would be available, yet the current situation is it’s not always a guarantee.

Dealing with shortages is one thing. Every industry deals with shortages of products or raw materials at some point, it’s normal. However it’s another thing entirely to take the drastic step of setting up a brand new company to deal with the problem. It shows the problem is very acute. However drastic, this could be the solution that’s needed, a drug company whose mandate is to supply drugs solely to hospitals based on their current needs. Instead of hoping drug companies will continue to make the drugs they need at affordable prices (by no means a guarantee) this group will be able to order drugs, even older and potentially out of production generics; and price will be minimal since they’re not operating as a for-profit corporation.

You and I cannot afford to do this same thing. The resources needed to set up a drug company are immense. The manufacturing facilities alone use a lot of specialized equipment which is very expensive. Big pharma has the retail pharmaceutical market very well locked up. For the average consumer, fighting back is much more difficult. One option still open is ordering from a certified, verified online pharmacy. Canadian online pharmacies have been serving the American market for 20 years and have saved millions of people millions of dollars.

Remember that the reason why prescription drugs are so expensive in the US is that pharmaceutical companies are a heavily protected industry. They sell drugs to the government through Medicare Part D and the government banned itself from being allowed to negotiate prices with them! This is outrageous considering the CBO expects spending on Medicare Part D will cost $92 billion in 2018! That’s nearly pure profit for the pharmaceutical industry. Never mind the spending done by individuals and private plans.

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