June 14, 2016 – Drug Costs and Shortages


Anchor lead: Skyrocketing costs are just one part of the prescription drug problem, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Stratospheric costs, shortages, limited generics, these are the many issues in the news recently about prescription drugs.  Redonda Miller, senior vice president for medical affairs at Johns Hopkins, says hospital executives welcome the input of patients in effecting change.

Miller: I think patients are our allies here.  I think having patients working with us to make this issue known and put some real human stories around it. How about the mother with toxoplasmosis, a lethal condition, an infection in her brain, who now no longer can get the antibiotics she needs to treat that infection, and we’re now trying to piece together an alternative solution, so I think really our patients are our allies, we’re in this together.  :29

Miller says everyone can advocate to lawmakers to focus attention on unaffordable medications, with one in five Americans unable to afford their prescriptions, to price hikes of a thousand percent and more by makers of generic drugs, as well as shortages of needed medicines in the hospital.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.