Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The death panels are already here

What happens when drug shortages spike? You hope to get lucky, like me

By Mary Elizabeth Williams
October 17, 2011

Bad news, right-wing nutjobs – it turns out that getting sick is not just a problem for those freeloading, uninsured socialist troublemakers. With drug shortages on the rise – and other countries tightening the reins on treatment coverage – who lives and who doesn’t won’t be determined by politics but by the frightening economics of supply and demand.

A piece last month for the Wall Street Journal highlights the problem: Severe shortages of chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics and nutritional supplementation are leading to limited treatments and have caused “hundreds of clinical trials to be stopped.” Drug shortages have tripled in the last six years. And with a new high of 213 different drug shortages this year, patients with life-threatening conditions like high blood pressure, breast cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma and leukemia have been affected.

Read more HERE.

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