Charlotte County –
For patients who wish to have an MRI with sedation, or require outpatient surgery, your choices for a sedative may be limited. Several imaging labs and hospitals in Charlotte County are experiencing a delay in receiving their supply of the drug Midazolam, or as more commonly known; Versed. These drugs are used as sedatives during preparation for surgery, and sedated imaging services such as an MRI or CAT scan. The significance of this disruption is that the alternative drugs Lorazepam and Diazepam are also on backorder according to American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ drug shortage bulletin page.
Generic drugs do not have the profit margin, as do name brand, for drug companies to stock; therefore, manufacture of the compounds is on an as ordered basis.
Most people would not give this another thought and possibly wonder why should they be concerned? The answer is not a simple one. Drug shortages are becoming almost commonplace in our country. The cost to manufacture drugs to serve the medical community has skyrocketed. In order to save costs, pharmaceutical companies are cutting back on production, and in some cases discontinuing production all together on certain drugs.
Some say it is because of the new guidelines instituted by executive order from the Obama administration that we are in this situation. Others, such as Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel who believes we are in a crisis – in his article from Nov. 7, 2011 in the National Review, Dr. Siegel said,” The problem of shortages of many of our life-saving intravenous drugs — including chemotherapy medications, steroids, seizure drugs, blood thinners, antibiotics, and cardiac-emergency treatments — has spiraled out of control.”
How does this affect Charlotte County? Waiting for drug treatment when life saving surgery may be necessary, is unacceptable at any level. It doesn’t matter what the cause is when you are waiting to have a procedure performed, all you want to know is will you be able to endure the surgery without having to bite-the-bullet. This is not the old west.