Hundreds of widely used medications are still in short-supply in the U.S. and it's getting worse. For example, there were 301 active national drug shortages just in January, February and March of this year. There were only 202 in 2018.
Manufacturing problems and tightened supply lines are among the reasons for the drought, along with our dependency on China and India for raw materials. Some Lawmakers are calling the issue a matter of national security.
University of Houston Pharmacy School's Dr. Natalie Rosario says, "There are relatively few drug manufacturers in the world - and many of them are overseas! If just one of those plants shuts down - it can make tons of downstream effects!"
What do you do when you need one of them to stay alive? Dr. Rosario has your first plan of attack. "Go back to your prescriber (your doctor, for instance) to see if there's an alternative drug that works similarly. That could be your next-best option!'
She also says if you can't find what you have been prescribed at your usual pharmacy, and you have contacted your prescriber, try these tactics. "Call all of the different pharmacies in your area, or even try a Compound Pharmacy. Some of them could make that drug product for you using basic ingredients."