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Bozeman Deaconess Hospital feels effects of national drug shortages

Published On: Jan 08 2013 08:14:20 PM MST   Updated On: Jan 08 2013 08:41:13 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Drug shortages could make things more difficult for folks managing pain. Many medical facilities are seeking other options.

NBC Montana wanted to find out how the shortage would impact patients in southwest Montana.

The hospice administrator in Bozeman and the head pharmacist at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital both report they are seeing a number of changes in treatment to make up for short supply.

"We look at all of the options that are available and then help the patient choose the ones that work best for them," said Kathrina Monfortan of Frontier Home Health and Hospice.

Options include generic drugs that are just as effective in treating patients' symptoms. However, generic drugs are in high demand, making it difficult for pharmacies to get them to patients.

Mike Bertagnolli, the managing pharmacist at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, said his pharmacy is up to date with medications. "We are staying ahead of the curve and do anticipate shortage. We're communicating with providers and users to condense product and we're trying to change prescribing behavior if that's possible."

Part of the shortage comes from increased demand for generic drugs or limited manufacturing.

Bertagnolli said there's only one company in the world that manufactures injectable narcotics, which are also on back order.