A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report issued in October 2013 lists steps the agency has taken to alleviate drug shortages in the United States. If you read between the lines, there is a suggestion that buyers (not just hospitals, but fire and EMS) may share responsibility for drug shortages.
The continued push of purchasing consortiums and low bid contracts for pharmaceuticals has effectively reduced the supply of many drugs as manufacturers are unable to earn profits in the fiercely competitive marketplace. Read the full report to consider how EMS may be contributing to the very shortages we complain about.
MIKE McEVOY, PhD, NRP, RN, CCRN is the EMS Coordinator for Saratoga County, NY and the Fire Engineering EMS editor. He is a nurse clinician in the cardiac surgical ICU at Albany Medical Center in New York where he also co-chairs the hospital resuscitation committee. Mike is a paramedic supervisor for Clifton Park & Halfmoon Ambulance and the chief medical officer for West Crescent Fire Department. He is an EMS Section Board Member for the International Association of Fire Chiefs and a popular speaker at Fire, EMS, and medical conference worldwide.