South Dakota Hospitals Search for Ways to Weather Drug Shortage

South Dakota hospitals are grappling with increasing shortages of necessary drugs, according to a Rapid City Journal report.

Late last week, 160 drugs were listed as being in short supply by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, according to the report. The number of drugs on the list changes daily, but the volume of drugs affected clearly indicates a problem for hospitals. Hospital administrators and materials managers are responding to the ongoing medication shortage with creative methods: calling alternate vendors, negotiating with wholesalers and stockpiling whenever possible.

Hospitals like Black Hills Surgical Hospital in Rapid City, S.D., have tackled the drug shortage by looking into alternatives. Some drug shortages can be managed by using a different therapy, according to the report, and others can be tackled through extra effort by hospital pharmacists.

Hospital administrators believe one of the most damaging shortages exists in the lack of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatments, six of which are on the shortage list. Oncologists at John T. Vucurevich Regional Cancer Care Institute in Rapid City have decided not to begin treatment of a new patient unless the hospital pharmacy has a full regimen on the required drug in stock.

Read the Rapid City Journal report on South Dakota hospitals and the drug shortage.

Read more on drug shortages:

-Tennessee Hospitals Rely on Borrowing, Other Measures to Address Drug Shortages

-Drug Shortages Cost Providers $200M Annually, Endanger Patient Safety

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