Thursday, April 9, 2020

Covid Tidbit: Shortage of Ventilator Drugs?

We had the first warnings of a rapidly impending shortage of RNA extraction kits weeks ago.  One problem - production can increase linearly (e.g. 24/7 is 3X output) while demand can increase exponentially (e.g. 100X).

Here's a story from the trade website IDSE (Infectious Disease Special Edition) - Could the next rate limiting factor be a shortage of drugs critical to the deployment of ventilators?

See the article by Bruce Buckley, byline April 8, here.

I've clipped the first paragraphs below the break.

APRIL 8, 2020
Demand for Ventilator Drugs ‘Unprecedented’
By Bruce Buckley

The danger that there won’t be enough medications to facilitate mechanical ventilation in COVID-19 patients is sharply rising just as coronavirus infections surge in hotspots around the nation, according to a new Vizient analysis of 13 critical sedatives, opioids and paralytic drugs.

“What we’re seeing right now is an unprecedented demand for these medications, and we’re not at an apex yet from what our data are showing,” said Dan Kistner, PharmD, the group vice president of pharmacy solutions at Vizient Inc. “My biggest fear is that in a few weeks down the road, we’re going to see pictures on the news of ventilators in a closet that can’t be used because we don’t have the drugs.”

Erin Fox, PharmD, BCPS, the senior director of Drug Information and Support Services at the University of Utah Health, in Salt Lake City, said, “Hospitals are facing two to 10 times their normal ventilated population. This means that you need two to 10 times the amount of medications. That is not so easy in these days of allocations and limits placed on the amounts of controlled substances you can order.”  ...(continues at website)


Besides IDSE, another good infectious disease industry website is Contagion Live, here.