As a prescription drug shortage continues to impact patients from coast to coast, the federal government needs to step in and ensure that residents have access to their vital medications, Joseph Vicari, Director of the Ocean County Board of Commissioners, said in a letter today.
Vicari, who serves as the liaison to the Ocean County Office of Senior Services, penned a letter to Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker asking them to “do everything they can” to end the pharmaceutical shortages.
“How can the strongest economy on earth be facing a shortage of these vital pharmaceuticals? It is well past time that the United States becomes self-sufficient and capable of producing all of the drugs needed by our aging population,” Vicari said in the letter.
Vicari said the shortages are especially harmful to Ocean County’s large senior citizen population.
“Ocean County is home to one of the largest concentrations of senior citizens in the entire nation. These older adults are facing a crisis – the continuing and growing shortage of critical prescription medications,” Vicari said in the letter. “Doctors report that they are reducing dosages of these life-saving drugs in an effort to treat as many patients as possible. Across the country, hospitals are delaying or even cancelling needed surgeries only because the necessary drugs are not available. Our seniors are looking for answers, and so am I.”
Letters were also sent to Congressmen Chris Smith and Jeff Van Drew.
“I encourage you to do everything you can to help rectify this ongoing crisis. Access to medical care and needed medicine is a basic human right,” Vicari said. “Please help us ensure that our seniors – and younger families, too – do not have to worry about their health simply because a necessary prescription is not available.”
Published reports said the shortages are impacting life-saving medicines including powerful drugs used in cancer treatments.