DETROIT (WWJ) – A potential drug shortage has patients and doctors worried about properly caring for their patients.

At least one local doctor is glad to see President Barack Obama signing an executive order Monday that requires the Food and Drug Administration to take steps to reduce drug shortages.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Laura Bonnell spoke with Dr. Joel Kahn of the Detroit Medical Center who said there are cancer patients who are being told a particular drug will work best for them, but it’s not available.

“There will be times that they’ll either have to skip a dose or pick an alternative treatment with their medical team,” said Kahn. “Yes, I think that’s the concern, that there is at least the chance that peoples’ well being or even their life might be harmed, particularly in the cancer world.”

“If they can’t get choice A, they may have to talk about what’s the risks and benefits of choice B, and if that’s potentially less effective … ” Kahn said.

“You’re often talking patients who are under the most stress and the most difficult decisions … showing up at the clinic and finding out what was planned for the day isn’t going to happen,” he said.  “Stress isn’t good for anybody and stress isn’t good for very sick patients.”

Dr. Kahn said this many times affects patients in hospital emergency rooms, and limits the medications anesthesiologists can use.

CBS News reports President Obama has said this escalating problem places patients at risk and raises the possibility of price gouging.

Last year, the FDA reported 178 drug shortages.

– More on this story from CBS News –

  1. MPHguy says:

    Forget fear of possible rationing in a socialized healthcare system, we have “real, outright shortages” in our free-market, profit-at-all-cost, system. Fear always wins out against reality in America. Medical tourism is on the rise. We can always go to Canada for treatment. Maybe we’ll be going to China one day. . Medical mistakes is still a leading cause of death in the U.S. also- We continue to hold onto something that is killing us. We should be more humble and act more educated.

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