The truth about drug shortages

The issue of drug shortages is one that can have an effect on almost every patient who spends any lengthy period of time under the care of a medical professional and require medications of some sort. One of the oft misunderstood aspects of the healthcare industry as a whole is that of Group Purchasing Organizations, often simply referred to as a GPO; many groups have taken aim at the use of GPO’s, who are often blamed for a range of different problems that are raised by fringe groups who wish to claim GPO’s are responsible for a range of different reasons for drug shortages.

Groups, such as the often mysterious Physicians Against Drug Shortages have often raised the level of concern about GPO use to hysterical levels through a campaign of intimidation and misinformation designed to undermine the work of these groups of medical institutions. A GPO is simply a group of hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, and a range of other medical institutions who come together to negotiate the best possible price for drugs from the manufacturer. A recent series of investigations have looked to uncover the real reasons for drug shortages that can occur for many reasons; groups like the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have revealed the reasons for drug shortages can include manufacturing problems, quality control, and a lack of new suppliers becoming available.

Physicians Against Drug Shortages is headed by Executive Director Phillip Zweig, who has made it his personal mission to raise every conspiracy theory about GPO’s as possible over recent years. Among the outlandish claims made by Physicians Against Drug Shortages have been claims that GPO’s played a role in the rise of the HIV/Aids virus in the 1980s and 90s, and corruption claims made against two U.S. Senators who Phil Zweig has claimed covered up GPO corruption. Despite the claims of Physicians Against Drug Shortages there have been no claims about corruption or unfair practices made against GPO administrators from Supreme Court judges or U.S. government agencies who have investigated the myriad reasons for drug shortages occurring.