Local News

Hospitals, Pharmacies Experiencing Prescription Drug Shortage

Posted May 1, 2002

— A shortage of prescription drugs is forcing hospitals to ration medication, postpone surgeries and delay vaccinations.

Some pharmacy shelves are empty at the

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center

. A shortage of antibiotics and vaccines have forced patients to postpone elective surgery and immunizations.

The hospital is rationing some drugs, including one that can be used for adults and infants.

"On the inpatient side, we use it to mature the lungs of premature babies, so we've had to control the use of it and limit it to those most in need, which is our premature babies," said Dr. Vanessa King of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Drug makers blame the shortages on manufacturing delays and a lack of raw materials. They say that they are not able to tell pharmacists when the supply problem might end.

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