HEALTH

Drug shortages in Utah pharmacies leave many without medication

Apr 15, 2024, 10:00 PM | Updated: Apr 16, 2024, 7:46 am

Utah's pharmacy shelves are feeling the strain as the state grapples with a substancial drug shorta...

(Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s pharmacy shelves are feeling the strain as the state grapples with a substantial drug shortage. According to a recent study, Utah is the fourth highest in the country for drug shortages.

Among the medications facing shortages are weight-loss drugs such as Ozempic, which are in high demand nationwide, worsening manufacturing challenges. There is also a list of controlled substances, particularly ADHD medications, that are causing significant bottlenecks.

“[The Drug Enforcement Administration’s] main mission is to make sure that there’s not too much in the marketplace and that, you know, these important prescription medicines aren’t being potentially diverted and misused,” said Erin Fox, Associate Chief Pharmacy Officer at U of U Health.

Fox said that the DEA imposes regulatory constraints on these medications. This complicates efforts to meet the demand for the drugs.

Fox also recommends that patients check out other nearby pharmacies if they can’t find it nearby; “it’s not necessarily that Pharmacy’s fault,” she said. “Give them a little bit of grace.”

Additionally, she said if you need to, work with healthcare providers to research alternative treatment options. “Most of these shortages are stemming from the national manufacturer not sending enough.”

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Drug shortages in Utah pharmacies leave many without medication