Albuterol, bupivacaine, hydrocortisone, and dopamine – these are only four of the approximately 260 drugs that have experienced national shortages over the past 12 months (asamonitor.pub/41eZ3Hx; asamonitor.pub/40TNKVa). These scarcities have led to treatment delays, rationing, and, in some cases, changes to therapeutic plans (asamonitor.pub/3mxTgh5). Substitutes and alternative therapies have led to medication errors and patient harm (asamonitor.pub/3UCjdZy). In addition to these direct patient costs, there is a significant financial loss associated with addressing the ongoing shortages. Nationally, hospitals incurred an additional $229.7 million per year in costs between 2011 and 2013 because of more expensive generic replacements for shortage drugs. This figure does not include indirect costs of off-contract purchases, therapeutic alternatives, or additional labor requirements (asamonitor.pub/43wqhuP). This danger to public health and safety is particularly pertinent for anesthesiologists because the growing list of critical, lifesaving medications in short supply is...

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