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National drug shortages affect Salt Lake residents

SALT LAKE (ABC 4 News) - A national crisis has many Americans struggling to get the prescription medications they need.

SALT LAKE (ABC 4 News) - A national crisis has many Americans struggling to get the prescription medications they need.

According to the University of Utah, there are 232 drug shortages in 2011 compared to 70 in 2006. The University of Utah keeps the nation's most comprehensive list of prescription drugs.

The shortage has left many patients without proper medication. In some cases people have delayed treatment, like Salt Lake area resident Linda

"It was very frustrating and at the same time you feel so helpless," Linda said.

Linda was prescribed a medication called leflunomide to treat her arthritis. Leflunomide is one of the medicines on the shortage list.

Erin Fox is the manager for the Drug Information Service at the University of Utah. She said the problem mostly comes from manufacturers that make generic medications.

"We're having to spend so much trying to figure out substitutes so our patients not impacted," Fox said.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order on October 31, 2011. It asks the Food and Drug Administration to speed up the approval process for medicines in short supply.
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