Health Plus: Medication shortage impacts eastern Iowans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Medication shortage impacts eastern Iowans

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It's not always the cost that can be a barrier for some people to get the medications they need.

In Health Plus, why a drug shortage is leaving some prescriptions unfilled.

As the Director of Pharmacy at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, John Hamiel knows how important it is for patients to get the prescriptions they need.

But a drug shortage is making it tough to fill some of them.

"Regulations that the FDA is putting out and enforcing is really putting more pressure on the drug companies to behave themselves which is all good for public safety but bad for drug access," said John Hamiel.

According to the Food and Drug Administration's website, currently more than 130 drugs are not available.

"They range from morphine and other pain medications to chemotherapy medications and for some people it really could make the difference between good drug therapy and just scraping by or having to ration medications," he said.

So what should you do if the medicine you're after is not on a pharmacy shelf near you?

"There has been some legislation to make hospitals and the FDA aware of shortages a little bit earlier or potential shortages so that people can start to plan," he said.

Fortunately Hamiel says most drug shortages are not oral medications.

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