It is wonderful when Louisiana comes in at number one, at least, it usually is, but in this case, we are number one for something that is forcing tens of thousands of people in our state to struggle.

This is a story about Louisiana being in the number slot, but we don't want this recognition.

Unfortunately, the state that is in the number one position for drug shortages is Louisiana. We are not talking about scoring drugs on the street; we are talking about life-saving medicines and the state that tops the list for people who can't get their prescriptions in the state we live in.

There are about 323 medications on the list that are difficult to get due to shortages.

One in every five people with prescriptions in Louisiana have had problems with shortages.

Some drugs are not being made anymore.

Whether it's a medicine used to treat pain for cancer patients or those with other chronic illnesses or prescriptions needed for our children, the state is facing shortages.

Whether it's an antibiotic that a child needs or an insulin injection many people get to their pharmacies or speak with them on the phone only to find out they can't get what they need.

The state facing the biggest problem right now is Louisiana.

Why Are Their Drug Shortages?

The issues can be far-reaching and varied according to the FDA. A recent USA Today article points out that even some over-the-counter medicines are in short supply. People are simply having to do without their medicine or buying a costlier equivalent that is if they can afford it.

19.8% of people in Louisiana are facing a prescription medication shortage! That's one out of every five people who take prescription medicines in Louisiana. Who will advocate for these people?

You may have to go to another pharmacy to see if they have the medicine. You may have to change prescriptions. And, you may have to pay full price for medicines if you are not at a pharmacy in your network.

What Are Putting Doing If They Can't Get Their Medicine?

49% stopped or delayed taking the medicine

32% report mental distress

25% say their health is suffering

24% say they ration their medicine

 

What is Being Done to Correct the Problem?

The American Medical Association is asking Congress to act on ending shortages. Here are two policies they are recommending:

  • Support activities which may lead to the stabilization of the generic drug market by nonprofit or public entities. Stabilization of the market may include, but is not limited to, activities such as government-operated manufacturing of generic drugs, the manufacturing or purchasing of the required active pharmaceutical ingredients, or fill-finish. Nonprofit or public entities should prioritize instances of generic drugs that are actively, at-risk of, or have a history of being, in shortage, and for which these activities would decrease reliance on a small number of manufacturers outside the United States.
  • Encourage government entities to stabilize the generic drug supply market by piloting innovative incentive models for private companies which do not create artificial shortages for the purposes of obtaining said incentives.

If you are experiencing a drug shortage, you need to make your voice heard by contacting your U.S. Senators and Congressman. In a Vox article, one of the biggest issues pointed out is the outrage that the everyday person has, dealing with these shortages is not making it to the people in power who can actually make changes happen.

Click here for information on contacting Louisiana's two US Senators.

Click here for information on contacting Louisiana's House members.

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