Drug shortages alter patients’ care

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Drug shortages alter patients’ care

Columbus Dispatch – Last year was a record year for drug shortages in the United States, causing hospitals to alter treatments and some patients to suffer painful side effects.

“My hands had looked like someone had poured boiled water on them; my feet, like they had been severely sunburned,” said Sharon Brown of Hilliard.

After her breast cancer was diagnosed in June, Brown was prescribed Taxol, a medication that worked best with her chemotherapy.

But because of a shortage of the drug, she was switched to Taxotere, which interfered with her treatment and brought on the side effects.

Brown, a 56-year-old mother of two, said she would like to someday play with grandchildren.

“I just want there to be enough drugs for cancer patients who need them … we’re fighting for our lives,” she said.

A record 267 drug shortages were reported in the country last year. The year before that, it was 211.

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