More than 100 drugs on FDA’s ‘Currently in Shortage’ list; How it could impact you

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) – Health officials say there’s a chance you notice some changes in your medicine because of this shortage.

“Unfortunately, that’s the world we’re living in at the end of 2021,” Brian Laird, Pharmacy Operations Manager for OSF Healthcare, said.

The Food and Drug Administration has more than 100 drugs on its ‘currently in shortage’ list, and it’s affecting places in Central Illinois.

Shipping shortages continue across the country. It’s impacting holiday shopping and grocery stores, but it’s also impacting pharmacies.

“Just like all things in the world, it seems there are supply chain issues with medication,” Laird said.

He said right now, pharmacies are seeing a shortage in medications.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the medications we use in the United States are not produced in the United States. There’s plenty made in India, China, Israel, and Europe. So, just like other things that are stuck, medications can be stuck as well,” he said.

The situation may sound dire, but Laird said this isn’t a new problem.

“We have been dealing with this for years. The biggest drug shortage change was actually back in 2017, when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. So, we’ve had a good 4 years of experience dealing with pretty substantial drug shortages, and how to manage it. So, we’re pretty good at it,” he said.

Laird said it means your medication might come from different manufacturers. So, if you’re used to a green round pill, you might instead get an orange oblong pill.

He said it’s the same medicine just produced by a different company. Or if you need 10 milligrams, they might prescribe you two five-milligram pills instead.

Regardless, Laird said doctors and pharmacists are experts and know what to do.

“It’s nothing to be scared of. We really do have our patients’ best interest at heart. So we want to make sure it’s the easiest, least confusing, and safest way to change anything that may be unfortunately happening because of the supply chain,” he said.

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