American doctors have been experiencing a shortage of opioids required for addressing coronavirus patients on ventilators. They are requesting the federal government to increase production limits for drug manufacturers, after tightening the national quotas to tackle the opioid addiction crisis.
The current coronavirus pandemic has caused more than 6000 deaths, with the numbers still increasing. It has led the federal government, and American states struggle to get adequate ventilators to address patients who need oxygen supply.
Additionally, hospitals are combining drugs, including injectable fentanyl, required for the safety of patients on ventilators while keeping them anesthetized to allow healing of their lungs.
How the Drug Enforcement Administration is Addressing Opioid Situation
The American government places yearly restrictions on how many pharmaceutical companies can produce strictly regulated narcotics. It then assigns portions to different manufacturers. Amid the opioid abuse crisis, the USA Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) decreased the overall fentanyl allocation by over 30% for 2020.
According to a DEA report, groups such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) stated that the current shortage in injectable opioids such as morphine, fentanyl, and hydromorphone and requested for improved company allocations.
A report from a senior DEA official indicated the agency at the moment believes the available national quotas are well enough to address the rise in demand. It also believes there is still adequate additional allocations to produce more than millions of injectable doses used by hospitals.
However, the agency is carefully scrutinizing the condition. Also, it has begun considering the necessary steps to speed up an overall quota increase if needed.
According to a statement by Pfizer Inc., adjustments for production schedules have happened to prioritize injectable fentanyl in high requirement. The DEA increased the company’s quota in April.
Additionally, according to the IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) at the University of Washington, the USA hospitals are likely in need of approximately 40,000 ICU beds to treat patients with coronavirus. Such necessity could result in a shortage of almost 20,000 beds, declared IHME.
IHME also said approximately 32,000 ventilators are required. However, these figures contradict New York Governor Andrew Cuomo state’s only requirement. He stated the state might need about 30,000 to deal with the expected rise in future cases at the epidemic’s current epicenter.
Besides, health professionals can still use various drugs to help patients who need ventilators. Some, such as propofol anesthetic drugs, are not as strictly controlled as opioids like fentanyl. However, hospital providers around the country have already started reporting scarcity of these drugs and facing challenges filling orders.
The USA has a crucial need to procure essential medicines for ventilated ICU patients in response to coronavirus treatment. As the government is actively busy to address the shortage of opioids and the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans need to stay calm as they follow the required guidelines to control its spread.
Meanwhile, for those of you who need to search nearby rehab available in the country to address their health and mental issues during the outbreak, check our list of rehab directory for additional information.