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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NSU students observe Earth Day
Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).
Rural smallholders host annual show
More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.
Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop
Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.
Communiversity Band performs Sunday
Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
“Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
“We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”
Council concerned over reports of land contamination
Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.
Council tables cell tower permit apps
Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.
Walk a Mile 2014
Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
“It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”
Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl
A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.
Police take down pair on pot distribution charge
Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.
Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips
Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.
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