Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Aren't they supposed to be saving lives?

I thought the whole point of medications is to save lives? Isn't that why medications like methotrexate, antibiotics and thousands more were invented? To save additional lives? Evidently that is not the case. Well maybe they were not invented to save lives, they are now merely a way to meet the bottom line for the manufacturers.

There is a growing problem with shortages of critical medications. I have heard  numerous excuses why there are these shortages - manufacturing problems, shortages of ingredients, etc. They are excuses. And there is no excuse for them. I call it poor planning by the manufacturers. I understand that plants need to be shut down for maintenance and that the manufacturers are dependent on the supply of needed ingredients. But shouldn't they plan accordingly?

This is one that really kills me, a plant shut down for sub-par conditions:

"Last year, Ben Venue Laboratories closed an Ohio plant that made about half of the country’s supply of methotrexate, which is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, and bone tumors, among other illnesses. The plant had been under scrutiny for what Kweder said were significant quality-control problems. The plant also was a major producer of Doxil, a drug used to treat ovarian cancer."

I am sure the plant was either making cuts to meet the bottom line or otherwise slacking off on their quality control - hence their problems. You may call me naive but I believe that the goal should be to save patients lives not to meet the bottom line and line the pockets of a bunch of share holders. This should also be true of medical facilities.

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