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SHOW ME THE RECORDS: The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists tracks drug shortages

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | 12:01 a.m. CST

Each week, the Missourian highlights a government record that is available to the public. Open records help people keep government in check and help them better understand how government affects their lives.

For a complete list of Show Me the Records, go to columbiamissourian.com/records.

The records: Three different drug shortage lists from American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Why you'd want them: Drug shortages have been increasing in the U.S. during the past few years, and the country is now in the midst of what some people have called the worst shortage they've ever seen. As of early September, there were close to 200 drugs in short supply. You can use these lists to see which drugs are currently running short, which shortages have been resolved and which drugs are no longer available.

You can also get detailed information about each drug listed, including the products affected, the reason for the shortage, estimated resupply dates and related shortages. In some instances, drug manufacturers do not provide reasons. 

Most of the drugs in short supply are generic. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists lists them by generic name and the date the entry on the website was updated. 

Where to find them: Go to ashp.org/shortages. Under the heading "Drug Shortages Resource Center," there are three different pictures of pills, and beneath each one is a different list: current shortages, resolved shortages and drugs no longer available. Click on the list you'd like to see. To get more information about an individual drug, click on the name of the drug.

How much it will cost: This information is free.


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