Health Rationing in U.S. Due to Drug Shortages, Not Obamacare - Disgraceful! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

In recent years, shortages of all sorts of drugs — anesthetics, painkillers, antibioticscancer treatments — have become the new normal in American medicine. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists currently lists inadequate supplies of more than 150 drugs and therapeutics, for reasons ranging from manufacturing problems to federal safety crackdowns to drugmakers abandoning low-profit products. But while such shortages have periodically drawn attention, the rationing that results from them has been largely hidden from patients and the public.

[Drug Rationing "Death Panels"]

At Cleveland Clinic, decisions about conserving, substituting and allocating scarce drugs typically are made by small groups of doctors and pharmacists; Dr. Kodish’s ethics committee is not involved. But such decisions are not always made by doctors or hospitals. One company, Janssen, chose to ration its ovarian cancer and multiple myeloma drug Doxil on a first-come-first-served basis during a prolonged shortage.