While drug shortages have always existed, the problem has escalated and more than 200 important medications are now unavailable. Current shortages are often the result of a drug company’s decision to halt production of older drugs that are less costly in favor of manufacturing newer, more profitable products. However, in many cases the medications that are pulled from production are life-sustaining, such as electrolyte solutions, chemotherapy, and drugs used during resuscitation. While the decisions made by pharmaceutical manufacturers may be in the best interest of their stockholders, patient care is suffering and many critical drugs are now indefinitely backordered. In many cases, we can help by compounding the needed medications. We have the resources to help practitioners and hospitals deal with these shortages, and we can also compound medications that have been discontinued for reasons such as declining usage, reduced profitability, short shelf life, or inability to source an ingredient used in the commercial product.
A list of drugs that are in short supply or completely unavailable can be found at http://www.ashp.org/shortages or
Contact our compounding pharmacist if a medication that you need is not commercially available.