Cry of the Hawk

The student news site of North Harford High School

Cry of the Hawk

Cry of the Hawk


Should the northern Harford County area have its own 'snow zone' for inclement weather days?

  • YES (92%, 60 Votes)
  • NO (8%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 65

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Drug shortages reach new peak,

Plans to up medication productions

    Drug shortage numbers have hit a record high in the first quarter of 2024. This year has had the highest shortages since drug availability has been tracked. 

     A total of 323 drugs in the first three months of the year. Which is bigger than the previous high of 320 in 2014 according to CNBC. 

     CEO of American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Paul Abramowitz believes that all drug classes are vulnerable to shortages. He adds that there is a growing concern about the availability of injectable medications like cancer chemotherapy drugs, emergency medications used in hospitals, and ADHD medications (CNBC).  

     The number of patients affected is unclear, but the average shortage from 2016 to 2020 affected at least half a million people according to the Department of Health and Human Services which was shared with CNBC. 

     According to CNBC, patients will scour different pharmacies for the medication they need, however some states don’t allow patients to fill their prescription at other pharmacies. Patients and some pharmacists are frustrated because the reason for the shortages aren’t clear. 

    CNBC adds that some drugmakers say that the demand has outstripped supply mainly for weight loss and diabetes medications. Others say that manufacturing and quality problems like supply chain gaps are a major contribution. 

     The Federal Trade Commission is trying to determine if some have misused their market power to cut the prices of generic drugs causing manufacturers unable to profit , leading to the stop of production (CNBC).

     The Biden administration has begun to take steps to deal with drug shortages. The U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently outlined policy recommendations in an attempt to prevent the supply of deficiencies and mitigate vulnerabilities. CNBC adds that the HHS has collaborated with drugmakers and hospitals to attempt to improve the drug market and help companies to invest in improved drug supply chains. 

     The recommendations provided to try to improve drug productivity align with ASHP. However, Abramowitz adds that he has serious concerns about parts of the plan to improve, including the fact that it could punish the hospitals that lack resources to align with recommendations (CNBC). 

     While plans have continued to develop in an attempt to improve the drug shortages, there is still much work to do regarding the root cause of drug shortages. 

     School Nurse, Ms. Melissa Wilson says that she has had parents of students drive to the other end of the county just to retrieve their child’s medication. This shortage “impacts students’ ability to learn during the school day because they may be without medication that helps them focus,” she adds. 

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