The US Is Facing a Dangerous Prescription Drug Shortage

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Though the idea of America facing a prescription drug shortage is really nothing new (it’s been discussed in the scientific literature for years), as would be expected with the current orchestrated supply chain storm, we are once more facing a severe drug shortage.

The US is currently experiencing a shortage of over 100 different prescription drugs covering a wide range of health problems. How is this going to impact the prepper?

What do drug shortages do to prices? 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve decided you’re going to shop for your prescription drugs with Mark Cuban. If the drug you need is in short supply, the price of it is going to skyrocket. Scarcity drives demand, and scarcity also drives price.

We’re already having a problem with inflation in the US. When you have 80% of the US dollar supply printed within a two-year period, you have a problem. People throughout America are noting that they are paying more at the pump, more at the grocery store, and more at their local dry goods stores.

Not only will your prescription drug costs rise in price because of an increase in the price of gas, raw materials, and due to staffing shortages, but the shortage of drugs then causes a self-feeding loop. The scarcity of drugs drives prices up even more.

In a truly capitalistic society, this error would be self-correcting. As more people realize money can be made making drugs, more competitors enter the field, and they are able to engage in a competitive pricing scheme so that customers buy their products instead.

But I don’t think you’re going to see that.

I don’t think you’re going to be allowed to see this correct itself. I think, instead, you’re going to see every move made possible to exacerbate this issue. If you haven’t done so already, check out Cat Ellis’s Herbal Skills Intensive because we may soon find ourselves on our own for healthcare.

(For information on how to starve the beast, be sure to check out our free QUICKSTART Guide.)

What happens when anti-psychotic drugs aren’t available? 

Among these drugs currently in short supply are the following anti-psychotics:

  • amoxapine
  • amphetamine aspartate
  • chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride
  • fluvoxamine
  • lithium
  • loxapine
  • nefazodone hydrochloride
  • thiothixene

“Anesthesia drugs” are currently experiencing 13 drug shortages, as is the category “anti-infective.” There’s not more anti-psychotic drug shortages than there are of others right now. But it is still worth noting. We already know what happens when people can’t get access to their regular medications. People who need heart medicine to live who cannot get it will potentially face very serious consequences.

But what happens within a society when a large number of people who need anti-psychotics are not able to get them? It’s not a pretty picture, is it?

What is going on here?

What happens when doctors are forced to ration healthcare? 

We’re already seeing evidence of this. The current drug shortages have already caused American doctors to have to ration the care they provide based on what is currently available.

If there’s no morphine to give to your pain patients, there’s no morphine. It’s as simple as that. Not only should such a concept be alarming to those who both work in healthcare and receive healthcare, but what should also be concerning is the notion of triage.

If your doctor gets to choose who gets the last surgery for the week, and four of you are laying there in the waiting room of the ER desperately needing it, how is your doctor going to choose? Will bribes become the norm? Will you be excluded because of your lifestyle?

That is the way this works now.

Can a drug shortage be used to twist America’s arm behind its back? 

As Michael Snyder of TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com points out, absolutely. As he mentions, a full 97% of antibiotics in the US come to us from overseas. Our access to those drugs could be cut off in a single day.

What does an America without antibiotics look like?

In 2005, it was estimated that antibiotics save an average of 200,000 American lives per year. So, let’s stick with that number for 2022. Can you imagine a world where 200,000 Americans die within a year from infections alone because they could not get common antibiotics for common maladies?

Picture a city like Knoxville, Tennessee, just disappearing within the span of a year. That’s what you’re looking at here.

And that’s just for the antibiotics alone.

The point here isn’t to provoke fear. 

The point here is to warn you. This is only going to continue, and you need to be prepared for it. Drug shortages are going to continue to increase, you’re going to see more triage of care, staffing problems are going to grow – and that’s just the way it is.

Have you set aside the medications that your family needs? Have you talked with your doctor about suitable alternatives to your current prescriptions? If not, the time to do so is now. What are your thoughts on the situation, though? Have you experienced any prescription drug shortages in your area? Let us know in the comments below.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

Aden Tate

Aden Tate

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  • People need to adopt healthier lifestyles, (good luck with that, most won’t get off the sofa) stop taking dangerous but profitable pharmaceuticals, which also cause side effects that need treating. John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie hijacked the medical schools and profession, all in the interests of profits.

    The clot shot killer injections will probably kill 2/3 of the people that took them over the next 10 years. I say, people deserve what they get.

    • Well, I see it this way…YES, they do reap what they sow. They should know better and do their research before they get the injections and boosters; however, many are ill informed and some just plain “stupid”. Well, you know as well as I do that it’s not possible to fix stupid.
      If you will need never ending boosters after being jabbed, if you will need to get tested after being jabbed, if you will need to wear a mask after being jabbed, if you are still spreading the virus after being jabbed, if you can still get sick for a few weeks or a month, or even be hospitalized after being jabbed, and if you are still living in fear even though you’ve been jabbed then it is time to ADMIT you’ve been duped, conned, and fully deceived by the propaganda meant to “control” you. It is time to read the book called “THE REAL ANTHONY FAUCI” by Robert Kennedy Jr. It will present you will a REAL and SCIENTIFIC truth based on REAL facts. Isn’t it time for ALL of us to live our lives as we always have? Time to get back to life as we know it after three years of falsehoods and deceit and panic! Was Orwell right after all? Ahhhhh, food for thought.

  • You say to “put aside” your drugs. How does one do that when you are limited as to how much you can buy? I am on only 2 prescriptions that I need every day, but I can get only 90 at a time, and they will refill only when you’re down to about 14.

    • I take only 1 prescription per day for moderate high blood pressure. Is it still possible to just pay for them outright? YOU might be able to do it. I mean money in the bank may need to be spent on your life saving drugs. IF not then what? YOU will eventually run out (time is flying by) and when you do then what will happen? I would rather have medicine that I need in my cabinet than the money it would cost me in the bank. IF we go bottoms up and the banks take all of our money then what? Better to be safe than sorry is it not?

    • There are some drugs that can be stocked but it will cost you more. Most drugs that are not Schedule 1 drugs (like narcotics) can be purchased for the full retail price, which means not using your insurance at all. The insurance companies are usually the ones that limit how many pills and how many times you can refill an Rx. For instance, I take a thyroid Rx. With insurance it costs me about $6/month. If I want to stock up, I ask the pharmacy to give me as many pills as I ask for or refill the Rx more often until I have a supply, but I will pay the full retail price, which would cost me about 3 times as much. Another possible solution is to use GoodRx which can be used instead of your insurance. It is free to join unless you want the “Gold” membership which is about $10/mo. It has saved us hundreds of dollars! And since it doesn’t go through any insurance, refill your Rx whenever you choose.

      • Thank you! I already have GoodRx, so I will definitely look into that. I am on thyroid meds, too, as well a low-dose antibiotic to keep my bladder clear (I am paralyzed from the chest down). This is good info.

  • I just received a letter that my insurance is no longer covering my insulin. The insulin I use isn’t even listed on the official drug shortage list, so I have no idea why they are no longer covering it. Without insurance it’s about 1k per month. I just spoke with another diabetic who said the same thing. I’ve been type 1 diabetic since childhood. My body doesn’t make insulin at all, so there is no diet or medication that can fix it. Yes, I have tried every natural alternative, researched for years, and worked with natural doctors to try to heal my body. I already eat low carb to minimize the amount of insulin I need. But the fact is, I have to have insulin to survive. Glad I have been stocking up gradually over the past ten years so I have a good supply till I can figure out something else.

    • I was just notified that my Albuterol inhaler won’t be covered anymore either. No reason given, no reason when I found it under the “discontinued” list either. Luckily I don’t need it often, and have put some back this past year, but the inhalers are only good so long… I’m not sure if it’s the propellant that goes, or the medication. I’ll be talking with Doc about a lot of things at my next appointment, but I think what I need the most is a weight-loss buddy!

      • Insurance companies change their “formulary” medications for no apparent rhyme or reason; but it surely comes down to bean counting. My albuterol inhaler has changed brands regularly for that reason, and unless you contact your insurance company, your pharmacist may be unaware that they will cover another brand. I now take Singulair and an inhaled corticosteroid as well. This has enabled me to build a stash of around a dozen (generally considered a year’s supply) of them so far.

    • KAIT, How is it that you’ve saved up 10 years of insulin? I’m truly curious as wanting to know for a paper I want to write. Insulin really does not last long and it has a 3 month usage IF refrigerated. Are the new insulins that stable now? Would like some info . Thank you

      • I have NOT saved up ten years of insulin. But for the past ten years I have always asked for just a little extra to gradually increase my supply. For example, if I was taking 37 units I would ask my doctor to write my prescription for 40 units “to make sure I didn’t run short”. This is easy to do with drugs that have an adjustable dose like insulin, since you can just ask for the highest dose you ever use instead of the average. Each time I get new insulin I put in the back of the fridge and use the older stuff first before it expires. The new insulin pens usually have a 2-3 year expiration date if refrigerated (grid down could be stored in a basement/crawl space or anywhere you can find that is cool!). I haven’t used vials recently and don’t know the shelf life of those. Hope that makes sense! One more thing for anyone who is diabetic is that you can stretch the insulin you have by going as low carb as possible and eating lots of raw food (a garden is great for this!). I’ve specifically found that I can cut my insulin needs in half by drinking raw vegetable juice as the largest part of my diet. I keep a hand crank blender and some strainers on hand so I could still make fresh juice without electricity.

        • “I’ve specifically found that I can cut my insulin needs in half by drinking raw vegetable juice as the largest part of my diet.”

          That’s good to know about vegetable juice! What vegetables are you using?

          Tomatoes would be easiest, but that blow up my acid reflux. 🙁

          • For green juice I use whatever is available in the garden, but it’s mostly lettuce, spinach, kale, beet greens, dandelions, alfalfa, cucumbers, celery, carrots and beets. I add a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of stevia for palatability. A little fresh ginger is good, too.

        • Like I mentioned, I have been on insulin since 1970. I have also cut my intake in half. Last year I cut my carbs A LOT. We grow much of our food so it was EASY. We make bread out of squash and we eat sunchokes instead of potatoes.

      • I can’t comment on all insulins but Lispro (Humalog) and Lantus (Glargine) are generally LISTED on the box with an expiration date of 3 years out if they’re kept refrigerated.

        The truth is that no one REALLY knows how long insulin is good for because it has a lot to do with temperature. Every time the temperature rises even a bit the life-expectancy of the protein shortens. The same thing is true of exposure to light.

        Lab work indicates that if stored in dark and properly temperature controlled locations it should be good for on the order of five years at minimum with 20 being the theoretical max. Of course, no pharmaceutical company is going to say that because they’re terrified of lawsuits if someone is harmed by expired insulin that isn’t marked as expired, so like every other med they shorten that listing on the product information.

        That said, KAIT didn’t say they have 10 years worth. They said they’ve been stocking it for 10 years. Which makes a lot of sense. Insulin dosages vary over time and with certain other factors so docs often can and do write the Rx “over” what they know you’ll take. With newer rules in the past couple of years they’ll often do something like dispense a box (five pens) a month even if you only use two. That’s because, under FDA rules in 2019, they have give you a package insert so a box is the minimum amount they can give you.

        So, if you use, say, two pens a month like I do you get three extras each month. So every 30 or so days you get 2.5 months, 1.5 months extra. You keep them in a fridge and at the end of a year you’ve created an extra 18 months of stockpile.

        It depends on what your doc/endo will do. Mine just writes it for an absurd amount because I’m his best patient and he knows that if anything goes *wrong* insulin will disappear with a quickness because of how many overweight T2s take ridiculous amounts of insulin instead of dropping the pounds. That makes my endo quite angry that his T1’s that work hard to do things right end up getting hosed while landwhales get ridiculous amounts of insulin covered by insurance and drive up the cost. And they do, there are people at my pharmacy who take monthly Rx’s for more than 20x the amount of Lantus that I use.

  • I’m understanding that the chinese are buying up the “Monoclonal Antibodies”. Has anyone else heard of this??

  • This isn’t new. For about 2yrs we’ve only been getting partial prescriptions. Few days to few weeks later the rest catches up.

    Many who’ve got serious long term things have already turned to the illicit drug trade.
    It’s crazy when grandma is buying dope off the street but that’s what it’s come to. They are also selling it too.
    Many who need certain pills to live but don’t others sell theirs on the black market too.

    I don’t necessarily approve but I understand. Things are getting worse.

  • Much of what is in short supply here is readily available from India. The manufacturers there aren’t FDA inspected and approved, but that would be an easy enough thing to do, and quicker than waiting for China to become our friend and ally. The problem is that Big Pharma has all their eggs in the Chinese basket and would lose a lot of profit if suddenly drugs were sourced somewhere else.

    I’ve been getting things that are over the counter there, but Rx here, if you can get an Rx or find a pharmacy to fill that Rx. My one Rx is OTC there, but is still readily available here so I’m still getting it here. That said, the Covid therapeutics are OTC there, and 10% or less the cost than here.

    Granted, a healthier lifestyle would go a long way to making things better, but that isn’t always open to everyone.

  • As one of those whose on certain medications that without I won’t be around for long, it’s something I’ve discussed with my wife and children. For those with Providers that don’t have a problem with a patient having an emergency stockpile, I’m envious. My HCP will go a month on some of my Meds, and that’s it. Oh well, welcome to my life.

    So most of our Preps involve setting things up for my family to survive without me.

  • I have been taking insulin since 1970. I have used an insulin pump since 1988. I met Eva Saxl (look her and Viktor up) when she was in NY. She ended up staying at our house for a couple weeks. She and my husband were born a few towns away from each other. She and I MADE insulin. The local fish and game club gave us deer pancreas. Now every year I practice. For one month, every year, I live off of home made insulin. It is not Novolog. But I am still alive.

    • What method did you use? I have instructions printed somewhere, but they are so complicated, basically requiring a lab and an array of other ingredients that would be pretty hard to procure.

      • We used the same method that Eva’s husband used. Now that I use. I close off and bleach down an area in our basement. Then I use a hot plate and a steriled stainless pot and hard simmer (hotter than simmer) ONE pancreas in 12 ounces of water for 40 minutes. Then I strain the liquid into a and I cover it and let is sit for 24-48 hours. It separates a bit. Then I strain it again into another sterized glass cup and done. I inject it into empty insulin vials. Now the fine print. I do not ever condone or recommend that ANYONE attempt or try this EVER. But I have been doing it once per month since 2000. Eva told me that the stories written about her and her husband were changed. Probably so people would not try to make insulin themselves and die. The did not have a copy of Banting’s book and they did not test on animals.

        • Thanks, Tee! Will write this down for an emergency situation. The instructions I had found were way more complicated than yours. Do you know what other animals work? The instructions I have say to only use a pig pancreas, maybe just because that’s the animal they used to use for commercial insulin. I don’t raise pork, but we do slaughter our own lambs.

          • Kait, I am so sorry for the late reply. We did a three day, unplanned, winter camping trip. We had a lot of fun and we learned that living off foredged food is near impossible. But we had homemade jerky and dried apples so we did okay. I personally have used deer, elk, wild boar, cow, goat, and sheep. I know a guy who owns a hunting preserve and he uses all kinds of mammal pancreas. Water Buffalo, Bison, ram, and all kinds of deer, type animals. He even mixes them. You have to test though because it seems each batch is different. I start with two units before a very low carb breakfast and I see how that goes. Then I correct all day until it seems to get me in range. I wear a pump so it is kind of easy. I also work from home so I have a nurse, I mean my husband who thinks he is a nurse.

  • Find me a doctor who’ll prescribe me antibiotics “just in case”. Or any prescription meds for that matter. What’s the point of a missive like this if you can’t offer an answer to that most basic of questions? If you get your scripts on a 90 day basis, you might be okay for a month or two if the timing is right. But IF is the biggest word in the dictionary.

    We all know that we have some very serious issues on the horizon, but you’re not likely to find anyone reading this who is going to burglarize a pharmacy before TSHTF.

    FWIW, many insurance companies will pay for a monthly supply every 21 or 22 days. Diligently staying on top of that schedule is the only way I know of to stockpile.

    • We stockpile fish antibiotics and we have used them. The one that we have not bought yet is doxy because it is too expensive. Tick bites get Amoxicillin. Respitory infections and ear infections get Azithromycin. I did treat a earing hole infection with cipro. That may have saved a life because the person was much sicker. When he did get to the hospital, the doctor asked who treated him? He lied and said he went to a friend who practices holistic medicine. The doctor said good thing because he may not have made it otherwise.

  • I will be gone for about a couple of weeks. We will be living off grid starting tomorrow. No heat, electricity, or running water for 15 days. We like to practice for when the fan gets clogged with feces.

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