Editor: When you call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency department for a medical crisis you would expect the medications you need for treatment to be available. But because of severe drug shortages nationwide and here in Pennsylvania, that’s not always the case.
In a recent poll, nine of 10 emergency physicians report that in the past month their emergency departments have experienced shortages, or a complete lack of availability, of critical medicines. Seventy percent of emergency physicians say drug shortages “have increased a lot” in the past year and many emergency medical services agencies face medication shortages as well. From EpiPens that treat life-threatening allergic reactions, to intravenous pain medications for severe injuries, to drugs to treat rapid, irregular heart rhythms, these medications are critical to caring for patients in our communities when they need it the most — during emergencies.
The American College of Emergency Physicians wants Congress to establish a national task force to address drug shortages and to make sure there is a strong focus on the medical aspects of preparedness in legislation being drafted right now — the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation (PAHPAI) Act of 2018.
Please contact your senator and congressional representative and request their support for PAHPAI and draw their attention to the drug shortage crisis threatening emergency medical care in our communities.
CHADD K. KRAUS, D.O.