Drug Shortage at Area Hospitals

November 18, 2011 Updated Nov 18, 2011 at 8:10 AM EDT

By WKBW News

November 18, 2011 Updated Nov 18, 2011 at 8:10 AM EDT

Some area hospitals say they can't get the prescription drugs they need and that is hurting patients. A report in today's Business First shows how the shortage of life-saving drugs jumped from 61 in 2005 to 178 last year. The FDA says 80 percent are drugs for oncology, antibiotics and electrolytes or nutrition so newborns and patients with cancer could suffer.
Local health officials say some drug companies stop production if it's not profitable and most drugs in demand are low cost so companies don't want to make them. President Obama has issued an executive order to get earlier notification from manufacturers about drug shortages.

Business First says First Niagara Financial Group is determining which HSBC branches to market and sell, besides the 26 that it sell must due to federal rules. Then it has to create a seamless transition for customers and it must raise $750 million to $800 million to support the transaction, likely through the sale of common stock. But the report says First Niagara's stock value has dropped nearly 30% since the acquisition was announced in July. First Niagara consultants are confident, saying this is an exciting time. They hope to close on the deal in the first quarter.

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