HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — The U.S. is facing the worst drug shortage in 10 years, and it’s potentially preventing some hospitals and cancer patients from getting life-saving medications.
That’s according to the latest data from the University of Utah Drug Information Service, which reports that the shortage includes everything from local anesthetics, basic hospital drugs and about two dozen chemotherapy drugs that don’t have alternatives.
Local medical experts said these cancer drug shortages are present in Alabama but aren’t posing a major problem yet.
A spokesperson for Ascension St. Vincent’s Pharmacy told CBS 42 it’s currently experiencing a low supply of two chemotherapy drugs, but that’s not affecting patient care so far.
On the other hand, Homewood Pharmacy said while it hasn’t been hit by a shortage of cancer drugs, it’s still seeing a big shortage in ADHD medications, such as Adderall.
“It’s been a struggle,” said Kayla Bolden, a pharmacy technician at Homewood Pharmacy.
Bolden added this shortage has continued for at least six months with no end in sight. They’re not sure what’s driving it but believe manufacturing trouble and prescription drug abuse could be to blame.
The pharmacy has had to get creative to keep up, and in the meantime, she asked its patients to bear with them.
“We’ve been doing partial fills, so that we can still get the families the minimum quantity that we can,” Bolden said. “We’ve been having to share bottles that come in our shipment. … We could order 50 and only get five.”
Rachel Young, an incoming senior at Auburn University, has been taking medication for debilitating ADHD since she was in first grade.
“It is very, very hard to focus. … It’s like TV static in my brain,” Young said.
She’s currently taking Vyvanse, and now her medicine has become harder to get ahold of because of rising costs and stricter qualifications to get it to combat misuse.
“It just doubled in price because of the shortage of it,” Young said.