By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
Just yesterday from Yahoo News –>
As cancer drug shortages grow, both doctors and patients say their hands are tied
Then there is Axios publishing this in part just a few weeks ago:
Shortages of cancer drugs and other life-saving medications are reaching their worst point in a decade, forcing physicians to develop workarounds and the Biden administration to mount an all-of-government response.
Why it matters: The shortfalls are surfacing deeply entrenched problems in America’s drug supply chain, particularly around commonly-used generic drugs. A recent House hearing examined a “race to the bottom” in price that chills investment in manufacturing and can leave just one or two companies actively producing a drug in shortage.
The Biden White House and all the Democrats continue to sell us the false notion that their work to control medical costs and inflation is working. You know, the cost of prescription drugs is controlled and coming down but only insulin is mentioned. Furthermore, drug companies are in fact suing the Biden administration over mandates and illegal control(s) of medications.
Meanwhile, the health of Americans across the country is suffering and so far none of the presidential candidates are discussing the fact that the ‘Affordable Healthcare Act’ is not affordable at all and in fact, the system is collapsing including Medicare providers bailing out. But read on and consider the consequences:
The JAMA Network out of Vanderbilt released a study indicating approximately one in five Americans 65 years of age and older modified their prescription routine to make it more cost-effective.
Some delayed their medications, skipping them altogether, and some patients even resorted to taking another individual’s medication, the study found.
“This is a big deal, and it has a lot to do with the fact that as people get over 65, they’re on a fixed income… and with inflation, they may not be able to afford the co-payment that they may have or even with a reduction or some kind of discount card, they may not be able to afford it,” Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News medical contributor, said during “America’s Newsroom” on Monday.
“And the problem is that the formularies are very restricted now. And so what was really interesting about this study out of JAMA Network Open out of Vanderbilt was actually when they were asked, they said if our physician would only guide us, if we could only get guidance to alternative medicines, we would go ahead and take it,” he continued. “That was 80 to 90% of the seniors that were surveyed said that because doctors have restricted time, they may not know the answer and the generic alternatives may not be available also because they may be short.”
Amid surging prices, Americans have also been battling shortages of certain drugs. A March 2023 Senate report previously indicated the “triple threat” of COVID-19, influenza and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) caused a spike in patients seeking medication in the winter of 2022.
The massive shortages stemmed from individuals and providers “panic-buying” more medications than they needed amid fear and confusion, according to the report from the Milken Center for Public Health in Washington, D.C.
“Not only that, and this is another piece of the seniors’ problem,” Siegel said. “The intermediary is sucking up the profit here. You got the pharmacy benefit managers that are in the middle of it negotiating with generics from offshore and even in the United States and saying, here’s the price. As long as I get my profit, we’ll get it across and we’ll get it into the hands of the people who need it the most. But the problem is that the generic companies shut down if they’re not guaranteed that they got a buyer.”
Siegel continued by emphasizing the massive drug shortage, noting that the American Society for Health Care Pharmacists claims there are more than 300 medications affected.
He detailed the shortages as detrimental, accounting for the “life-saving” nature of many of the prescriptions.
“We’re talking about chemotherapy, we’re talking about antibiotics, we’re talking about heart drugs. We’re talking about intravenous medications,” Siegel said. “These are crucial life-saving drugs. We’re relying on generics. They’re not made here in the United States.”
“There are supply chain issues and they’re not available. A huge public health crisis,” he stressed.