Intended for healthcare professionals


Prescription drug shortages plague US

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 20 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:130
  1. Fred Charatan
  1. Florida

    Prescription drug shortages have been worrying doctors, pharmacists, and federal regulators over the past six months, especially in the hospital sector. A few years ago a hospital might run short of one or two critical drugs a year, whereas in the past year the number has run to as many as two dozen drugs.

    In October, for example, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found itself unable to buy sufficient supplies of oxytocin, which is used in almost every one of its 10000 annual deliveries. Doctors therefore had to cut back on their use of the drug. Fortunately no patient suffered, said …

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