Study finds essential antibiotics are often in short supply in U.S.

A new study of U.S. drug shortages has found that antibiotics, including those used to treat highly resistant infections, have often been in persistent short supply, putting patients' health at risk and leaving open the chance some would die before hospitals could get their hands on drugs. The study of shortages from 2001 to 2013 is published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, according to MedicalXpress. The study found that recent antibiotic shortages included medications used to treat infections where there were few alternative treatment options or those needed for pediatric patients. Among those was aztreonam, which doctors turn to to treat serious infections when patients are allergic to penicillin. "There are implications that patients may not do as well clinically or potentially even die because these agents are not available," study author Dr. Larissa May of George Washington University said. Story