• Kelsey Swingen

Drug Shortages in Hospitals Become More Common

Hospitals all over the United States are running out of life-saving drugs, so much so, that doctors have had to cancel procedures, and child cancer patients can’t get drugs to ease their pain. 116 drugs are running low according to the FDA. They also reported that drug shortages are becoming more common and lasting longer.

The United States gets drugs overseas mostly from China, but when a country relies on products from another country, many things could happen. It can affect the quality of the drugs and pose a security threat. Last year there was a massive recall on blood thinners because a probable carcinogen was found in the medicine. A carcinogen is a substance capable of causing cancer in tissue. The tainted medicine was no longer able to be used to help patients. The United States having China as its supplier for drugs can be a dangerous situation because trade deals can fall apart or backfire and leave the United States without drugs. “I think that we could probably find ways to make drugs here instead of trading with other countries because you never know how those trading powers can affect us. If we lose those powers then we lose those drugs,” Jaden Fox (12) said.

There are two types of pills: a liquid-filled capsule and tablets. Tablets are made of granulated powder that gets packed tightly together. The pill is then coated with sugar or film to hold it together. Liquid capsules can have two different shells, a hard shell or a soft gel. The hard shell is two pieces filled with the powder then fastened together with the liquid. Soft-gel capsules are coated with gelatin that consists of protein from animals. The gelatin coating is easily digested in the intestinal tract. A tablet will have one to two active ingredients while a liquid capsule has one to two ingredients with multiple additives.

Medications and drugs running low affects everyone. According to the Mayo Clinic Medical Center, nearly seventy percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug, and more than half of Americans take two or more prescription drugs. The drug shortages are not a simple problem that can be fixed right away, it will require lots of cooperation and teamwork. “I know a lot of other people that have drugs that they need to function as a human or just keeping them alive,” Fox concluded.

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