The Truth About Drug Shortages

Members of the medical device community are attacking group purchasing organizations referred to as GPO’s. This community is responsible for negative headlines, have linked the industry to the healthcare crisis, and blamed them for the drug shortages, due to their own financial interests. The GPO’s are not responsible for the drug shortages, and many of the facts, and myths are discussed below.

The myth states the Physicians Against Drug Shortages have no ulterior motives, or conflicts of interest. The fact is this group does not contain many individuals. They have no expertise, training, or experience in the management of supply chains. The Executive Director is Phillip Zweig who participated in a campaign against GPO’s that lasted a decade. He represents the medical device industry, and has sued the GPO’s. He has tried to implicate GPO’s for corruption, murder, and the AIDS virus.

The Physicians Against Drug Shortages has a website registered to a legal firm that has sued the GPO’s. Academics with a positive reaction to GPO’s have been harassed by Phil Zweig, bullied into recanting their studies, and he has tried to have their universities discipline them. Physicians, and provider groups have been approached by the Physicians Against Drug Shortages, and Phil Zweig to join them.

The myth states prescription drug shortages are caused by the GPO’s. Prescription drug shortages have been examined by the Government Accountability Office, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The GPO’s were not among the causes they found. Sagent, and Hospira manufacture sterile injectable drugs. Both have made public statements that the GPO’s have nothing to do with any shortages of drugs. The shortages are from entry barriers, disruptions, and manufacturing problems. The GPO’s are working to eliminate drug shortages.

The myth states the practices of GPO’s have made manufacturing sterile injectable drugs unprofitable. The contracts with GPO’s are voluntary, and competitive. Most hospitals make their purchases from contracts, and pricing is adjusted when necessary. The GPO’s do not sell, compound, or manufacture these drugs. The GPO’s would not have a role if there were no products. The GPO’s work with distributors, manufacturers, and hospitals so a reliable, and safe supply of products is readily available for providers in the healthcare field. The GPO’s do not participate in any practices that are anticompetitive, they do not accept kickbacks, and they do not manipulate the market. The Department of Justice, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office have reviewed all the business practices of the GPO’s.

Who should pay for healthcare?

Health care seems to be an issue in which everyone and their brother has an opinion on. However, not everyone and their brother can agree on how to resolve the national issue. Some are for universal health care so that even the poorest of our nation’s citizens can see a doctor; whereas others are against it because they feel every person is for him- or herself. Many believe that the government has no place in controlling health care for anyone, let alone a whole country of people, so the sole responsibility should be upon the individual. While many can agree that limited government involvement in individual matters is great for several things, they cannot seem to look the other with health care. There are several thousands of Americans that want affordable health care to be available to everyone in this nation, even the homeless.

Many people have been affected by the economical downsizing of many businesses throughout the country and thus this has created an even bigger epidemic with the issue of who is responsible for health care: the masses or the individual? If you have not personally experienced a medical hardship in which you were liable for all the costs then it seems fairly likely that you will agree that the individual is responsible for providing his or her own health care. However, if you have struggled or witnessed someone close to you, or even a stranger, struggle with either obtaining and/or keeping health care you are likely to agree with the universal health care idea.

Whether you view health care as a privilege or a right the fact of the matter still stands that we all need it. Frank Garrison touched on this in a recent Tennessean piece. The very livelihood of the human existence is reliant upon keeping the race healthy and able to maintain that help for generations to come.

Americans with Disabilities Act

America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. A bastion of equality and a shining example for the rest of the world. If all of this were true, then why did it take them 241 years to recognize and respect the rights of disabled Americans. I personally think it is shameful that the ADA has only been around since 1990 and it should have been enacted a lot sooner.

What is the ADA?

The ADA or the Americans with disabilities act, is a law that was passed in 1990, and provides protection against discrimination of the disabled under the law and is primarily utilized in the workforce. While the ADA was a landmark decision, the rights of the disabled are still subject to discrimination. For example, there are limitations on how much the disabled can earn before losing benefits such as <a href=””>Medicaid</a>. What’s more, even though the laws have changed the mindset of employers has not. I cannot see how the intellectually disabled can ever have a chance to be independent of their parents when many of them work in minimum wage jobs. Look around the corporate offices of America and tell me how many disabled people work in the corner office. Society needs to change its attitude towards the disabled and stop limiting the potential of these able bodied members of society.

SourceAmerica is paving the way

Companies like SourceAmerica are paving the way for disabled in the workforce. SourceAmerica, founded over 40 years ago, and is an outsourcing <a href=”
“>non-profit</a> for the disabled and matches disabled workers with corporations and government organizations. SourceAmerica creates meaningful relationships and has a mission of changing the mindset of the workforce when it comes to the consideration of the disabled. All American companies need to stand behind businesses like SourceAmerica and change the outlook for the disabled persons of this country.