Drug Shortage Continues to Affect Local Hospitals

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If we are forced to go to the hospital, local doctors say we could be treated with a drug the is not only more expensive, but could be less safe.

Pharmacists at SwedishAmerican Hospital say within the past two to three years, the number of medications in low supply has become staggering. They say they have been short 200 medications this year. Area hospitals say they are hoping for the best but are planning for the worst.

"We're coming up with some backup plans now so that if there's going to be shortages of specifically pain medications, steroid injections, that we're ramping up so that it doesn't affect patients in this community," said Thomas Carey, director of pharmacy at SwedishAmerican Health Systems.

Pharmacists say there are alternative medications that can be provided if a drug is not available. But they sometimes call these drugs second line because they might not be as effective.

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