President Addresses drug shortages

Executive order aims to accelerate FDA action

Topics: Pharmacy, Supply Chain, Finance

October 31, 2011

President Obama on Monday is expected to issue an executive order intended to address a rising number of shortages for medications that treat life-threatening illnesses, the AP/Washington Post reports.

Overall, 178 drug shortages were reported to FDA in 2010, nearly three times the number reported in 2005. So far in 2011, there have been even more shortages of “medically necessary” drugs, including drugs used to treat lymphoma, leukemia, and breast cancer, as well as antibiotics, anesthetics, and electrolytes for patients on IV feeding tubes. HHS officials testifying at a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health in September said the shortages could result in a major health crisis.

Obama’s order will instruct FDA to require broader reporting of potential shortages for certain drugs, speed reviews of applications to begin or change production of the drugs, and provide the Department of Justice with more information about possible price gouging and collusion.

Obama also is expected to urge the House and Senate to expand reporting requirements and announce plans to strengthen FDA’s shortages team in order to handle more detailed communication with drug makers about events that could affect drug supplies. In addition, the administration plans to send letters to drug makers reminding them of their legal obligation to report potential supply disruptions and notify FDA of events that could lead to shortages.

Reports finds shortages caused by market dysfunction
The administration on Monday also plans to release two reports that attribute drug shortages to market dysfunction, the New York Times reports.

The studies found that about 74% of drugs affected by shortages last year were sterile injectibles. Almost 50% of the shortages occurred after inspections found serious quality problems, such as injectibles with glass shards, metal filings, and bacterial contamination. About five group purchasing organizations buy about 90% of the needed medications. Meanwhile, seven companies manufacture the majority of medications. The reports note that one drug maker often produces at least 90% of a drug’s supply (AP/Post, 10/31; Harris, Times, 10/31; Bohan, Reuters, 10/31

The Memorial Foundation hosts the first annual “Promise Awards”

The Memorial Foundation is rolling out the red carpet with an Oscar’s-style event, known as the first annual “Promise Awards, to honor of those who have helped children in Central Washington find special health care services through the collaborative development of Children’s Village. The event will be held on Thursday, November 3, at 5:30 p.m., at the 4th Street Theater. The public is invited to attend the event and help thank those committed to the vision and promise of Children’s Village.
WHO: The general public and those with a special interest in Children’s Village
WHAT: The First Annual Promise Awards
WHERE: The 4th Street Theater, 14 South Fourth Street in Yakima
WHEN: Thursday, November 3, at 5:30—7:00 p.m.
COST: $100 per person

Nominees were selected from peers, parents, friends and staff of Children’s Village. Winners will be honored in seven categories:
• Champion of Clinical Care
• Visionary Volunteer
• Corporate Community Energizer
• Distinguished Philanthropist
• Visionary in Children’s Health
• Outstanding Youth Engagement
• Inspiring Family
The event kicks off with cocktails and hor d’oeuvres, followed by the award ceremony, hosted by Master of Ceremonies, Spencer Hatton. Contact The Memorial Foundation at (509) 576-5794, to receive an invitation or purchase tickets. All proceed benefit Children’s Village.

Preparing For End of Life Event

View Our Events Calendar

It’s About How you Live” Community Event
October 25th, 4:00-5:30 pm
Englewood Christian Church (511 N. 44th Avenue, Yakima)

Join us for a special community forum where you’ll hear from a panel of community experts about how to better prepare for the end of life and the issues that families must confront. Clips from the highly-acclaimed PBS documentary, “Facing Death,” will be shown.
“It’s About How You Live” is hosted by the Yakima Association of Churches and Faith Communities and sponsored by The Memorial Foundation and Memorial Hospice.
For more information, call David Helseth at 509-966-6550.

The Promise Awards

A Reason to Celebrate

Children’s Village began as a dream and a vision among dedicated community members and organizations to meet the ever-growing needs of children with special health care needs and their families.

What grew out of that vision is now so much more than a bricks and mortar building. For 16 years, Children’s Village has been a philosophy of care, a safe haven, an advocate, a resource, an opportunity to bear witness and a pillar of strength for this community.

Children with special health care needs and their families receive the specialized services they need in an inclusive, compassionate environment. Whether treatment, therapies or exams take place in the home, at school, at the Village itself or through one of its partner organizations; everyone at children’s Village believes the same thing. Help kids be the very best kids they can be.

Join us to celebrate this remarkable journey at the Promise Awards on November 3, 2011 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the 4th Street Theatre in Yakima, Washington.

Celebrate the families who have watched their children blossom and grow through services at Children’s Village.

Celebrate the physicians, professionals, volunteers and staff who have made a difference in the lives of children.

Celebrate the visionary and generous donors from this community who made this promise possible.

And celebrate the youth who have given their time and talents to mentor, fundraise and volunteer at Children’s Village.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by Children’s Village, then consider joining us for this special evening. It is a night set aside simply to say thank you.

Yakima ER Education

As state moves to limit Medicaid funding for ER visits, group wants to educate patients on health care options
By Leah Beth Ward
Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — A group of Yakima Valley medical providers wants to help low-income patients avoid new financial burdens when they turn too often to the emergency room complaining of runny noses and other non-emergencies. More>>

National Philanthropy Day

National Philanthropy Month: Events in Yakima

National Philanthropy Day: The Big Give Day

The BIG GIVE Day is a community appeal to make November 15th a singular day of giving in support of vital healthcare programs for children, hospice patients, cancer care, mammography services – and more…right here in our community. The BIG GIVE Day event will raise funds through The Memorial Foundation and will be supported by Townsquare Media and their radio stations KIT 1280 AM, KATS 94.5 FM, KFFM 107.3 FM, KDBL 92.9 FM “The Bull” and KUTI 1460 AM.

Incorporating online giving, call-in donations, and social media networking…..the goal for this event is to reach a wide audience so that ONE day of giving will support many of the healthcare programs that make a difference to our community EVERY day. Stay tuned!

It’ll Calm Me

Laurie Oswalt

Take a play from the playbook of other grievers: Working through the loss of your loved one is difficult. It just is. One thing you want to really watch is doing things that you’re going to have to work to recover from as well as having to recover from your grief.

Here’s  what I mean:

In the moment, a sleeping pill may be the thing to calm you down enough so you can hit the pillow. In the moment, just one more glass of wine may be what it takes to relax you and keep your head from spinning. But a few moments from now, you may look back and wonder why you now can’t go to sleep unless you’re drugged up, or you can’t seem to function unless you have a bottle nearby (even if it’s hidden).

Medicating yourself during this time can be dangerous.  You will grieve. You can grieve now, or you can suppress your emotions for a time and grieve later. But medications, including alcohol, will only delay the process. The bigger problem with using substances to numb the pain is that you may find yourself needing to grieve and to wean off the very things you started taking in order to help. Addictions often arise in the midst of pain and grief.

And you’ve got enough on your plate.