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Medication recalls creating drug shortage

(MCT) The recall of all products manufactured by a Massachusetts drug company has created a critical shortage of several commonly used, life-saving injectable medications, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Many hospital pharmacies are being forced to compound their own medications or use other drugs, sometimes less effective ones, to treat patients.

"We are doing the manufacturing in-house now and it's definitely put a crimp on the system," said Tim McCall, pharmacy director for Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth.

Don Watson, pharmacy manager for clinical services at Maine Medical Center in Portland, said the recall has exacerbated a national shortage that has been a problem for the past two years.

"It's a moving target to make sure patients are getting the most appropriate medication," he said. "There are days when we say, 'Where are we going to get drugs for these patients?'"

Ameridose voluntarily recalled all of its products and suspended operations last month in response to a probe by the FDA and Massachusetts' board of pharmacy.

Authorities began looking into the company because of its ties to the New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass., whose products were responsible for an outbreak of fungal meningitis.

No Ameridose products have been found to be contaminated; the recall is a precaution.

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