Recent drug shortages are producing varied effects on local pharmacies.
Though hospital pharmacies are experiencing limited supplies of some in-patient injectable medications, over-the-counter drug stores are still able to provide their customers with the medications they need, in most cases.
“From time to time we do have shortages, but usually we figure our way around it,” said Tahlequah Medical Center Pharmacy Manager David Wilkerson. “If it’s something that there’s an alternative for that will do the same thing, then it’s going to get switched, but if it’s something that they have to have, we’ll go above and beyond to figure out where do we go to get it. It’s usually one of the hospitals where I end up having to get my stuff, through Hastings or through the city.”
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there were more than 200 drug shortages reported during 2011. These shortages, which began in 2006, arrived without warning and effected a wide range of treatment options for a variety of symptoms and illnesses from nausea and vomiting, infections, severe allergic reactions to cancer.
The shortage of a short-acting, intravenously administered hypnotic agent known as Propofol, which is used for general anesthesia, was the first major shortage experienced in hospital settings, but the problem has been corrected, said Hastings Hospital Director of Pharmacy Dr. Brandon Taylor.
“That one, by and large, has been resolved,” said Taylor. “That was the one that really got the ball rolling for us. “
The FDA released a report on information provided voluntarily by drug manufacturers that indicates shortages were due, in part, to product quality and Good Manufacturing Practices issues discovered during the processing like finding particles, microbial contamination and impurities in the final product.
Manufacturing delay and capacity issues, as well as drugmakers deciding to discontinue production of certain products have also impacted drug supplies. A small percentage is due to shortages of the raw materials, or active ingredients, used to make certain drugs.
“When some manufacturers had manufacturing problems and could not supply product, this caused other manufacturers to have to pick up the slack,” said Tahlequah City Hospital Director of Pharmacy Ray Potts “So [a certain percentage of the shortage is] due to increased demand for their products.”
Compazine, also known as Prochlorperazine, is an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting, but is unavailable due to this situation.
“Often, these shortages have occurred without warning and have required hospitals, including Tahlequah City Hospital, to take extra efforts to keep supplied with the medications involved,” he said.
Though persons receiving medical care under in-patient conditions have been impacted by these shortages, outpatient or over-the-counter needs have not been significantly affected.
“By and large, that’s true,” said Taylor.
The shortage effects experienced in drugstore settings have impacted pricing on some children’s medications.
“Mainly for some of your ADHD meds for children, but now that’s resolved, even though the price has increased about a tenfold,” said Wilkerson. “Maybe not quite that much, but it has increased tremendously. Some of them went from $30-something a bottle to $130-something for a bottle. Other than that, recently, I think they’ve pretty much resolved things. Every now and then something’s backordered. If they backorder something, the manufacturer usually gets it resolved pretty quick.”
Shortages of some over-the-counter products are due to product recall.
“Voltaren gel is an anti-inflammatory topical cream that they use for arthritis-type pain in the joints and it’s something a lot of our osteo doctors here in town like to write [prescriptions for] a lot and it was pretty much recalled,” Wilkerson said.
“It wasn’t necessarily a problem with that drug. It was with a drug that the same company makes. So because of that they had to pull all of their products. So I think that went the same way with Excedrin, the over-the-counter migraine medicine. That happened not long ago, and truthfully I don’t even know if that’s available now.
“I still don’t have one bottle of Excedrin on my shelves. Some generic finally came in last week, but as far as I know, [Excedrin] is not even available.”
To review current drug shortages and other related information, go to the FDA’s website at www.fda.gov and click on the tab option labeled “Drugs” or locate “Spotlight” on the same page and click on “Drug shortages.”
Recent drug shortages are producing varied effects on local pharmacies.
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Foster mom denied bond in child’s death
A 47-year-old woman arrested Tuesday night for the alleged murder of a 2-year-old girl was jailed in 2011 for wielding a knife during an argument over aluminum cans, and several agencies are reviewing the decision to allow the woman to be a foster parent.
Investigators on Wednesday continued their search for information into the death of Alysa Horney, who was found unresponsive at the Woodall home of her foster mother, Delila Pacheco, Sunday morning.
Pacheco, 47, appeared in front of Associate District Judge Mark Dobbins Wednesday morning and was denied bond a day after her arrest for first-degree murder.
Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said investigators discovered the toddler had minor visible bruises on her body Sunday morning, when deputies and EMS were called to the home.
Getting in compliance
During harsh winter weather, such as Cherokee County has experienced during the past week, concerns are often raised about the plight of people living in substandard housing. In Tahlequah, the situation has been compounded by the recent controversy over a rooming house where a child died last month.
Recently, the city of Tahlequah has begun to closely scrutinize homes that may not be up to code, and officials could decide to take action during 2014.
Pair helping former Stepping Stone residents
Christmas is a time for “peace on Earth and good will toward men,” and two local woman are putting the adage into practice by helping a group of recently displaced Tahlequah residents.
Denise LaGrand and Toni Bailey have volunteered within the community for years, but when the Stepping Stone Rooming House closed abruptly, LaGrand was spurred into action by others’ attitudes toward the evicted residents.
New pizza, liquor businesses in Tahlequah
Though the holiday season is usually a slow time for new business openings, a few new ventures are now welcoming customers in Tahlequah.
Recently opened businesses include J&L’s NYC Hot Dogs, Rum Runners liquor store, The Taco Truck and Pendleton’s Barbecue and Pizza.
Music to their ears
Local musicians looking for a chance to perform band music with fellow players are invited to join a group at Northeastern State University.
The Communiversity Band is a concert ensemble composed of NSU students and members of the Tahlequah community, and there is still time to get involved.
Hand-crafted ornaments, holiday gifts mean the most
For families on tight budgets, Christmas gift-giving means advanced planning and thinking outside the box. Often some of the most cherished gifts are those made by hand.
People looking to exercise their creative side this year need only look as far as Pinterest, according to Heather Winn, family and consumer science educator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
Cherokee County foster mother arrested for murder of 2-year-old
Investigators have arrested a 47-year-old foster mother for first-degree murder in the death of a 2-year-old girl Sunday morning.
Delila A. Pacheco was arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault.
Pacheco is accused of killing 2-year-old Alysa Horney.
Ki Bois to offer services for veterans, families
In an effort to assist some of the area’s neediest veterans, the Ki Bois Community Action Foundation recently announced the startup of its Supportive Services for Veterans Families program.
Ki Bois will hold a grand opening ceremony Thursday, Dec. 12 from 1-3 p.m. at the Muskogee office, 421 N. Broadway St.
However, Ki Bois began actual administration in its area of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs program Dec. 1. Funding is through the Veterans Administration, and Cherokee County veterans will also be served.
Roads get help from Mother Nature
Cherokee County commissioners were pleased to see the sun and rising temperatures help melt away some of the muck left along area roads Tuesday.
All of that melting is sure to leave some slick spots in the overnight and early morning hours for the next several days, but conditions are expected to improve.
Braving the cold
Though the weekend weather made travel difficult, the Snowflake ice rink still attracted plenty of skaters who wanted to spend time outdoors, balancing on blades.
The closing of Tahlequah Public Schools and other Cherokee County schools Monday created another skating opportunity, but there were only a couple of teen skaters on the ice at 3 p.m. Monday, braving the cold.
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