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US emergency departments face serious drug shortages

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A new study reveals that drug shortages affecting emergency care have skyrocketed in the United States in recent years. While the prevalence of such shortages fell from 2002 to 2007; the number of shortages sharply increased by 373% (from 26 to 123) from 2008 to 2014.

These medications are approved, but for various reasons manufacturers cannot meet demands or have stopped making the drugs.

"Many of those medications are for life-threatening conditions, and for some drugs no substitute is available," said Dr. Jess Pines, senior author of the Academic Emergency Medicine study. "This means that in some cases, emergency department physicians may not have the medications they need to help people who are in serious need of them."

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