Valley residents speak about nationwide pain drug shortage

There's a nationwide drug shortage that is alarming to physicians.

Kathleen Degroot lives with chronic pain in her back and legs.

"It's a sharp pain where on the right side it's more of a constant dull ache with sharp pain," she said.

She said the pain stems from a car accident she had in the 1970s.

"I have to bend over frequently and bend over a counter or a table top just to get relief from the pain," said Degroot.

For most of her life she says she tolerated the pain but for the past five years she's resorted to pain management with Dr. Tajul Chowdhury.

"It's affecting my ability with activities in my daily living," said Degroot.

She's on physical therapy takes pain medication when needed, and she's even had to get an injection for the pain so that she could go on vacation.

But a nationwide drug shortage is affecting patients that rely on medication for pain management.

"To control the pain some of the medication we use for the anesthetic reason," said Dr. Chowdhury.

The American Society of Health System-Pharmacists reports there's a shortage of just under 200 medications leaving doctors to look for other medications as an alternative, but Dr. Chowdhury said that doesn't always work.

"When it doesn't work, a patient goes through suffering and they buy different medications that don't work for them.. Those are the things we face difficulties," said Dr. Chowdhury.

Leaving patients in pain.

"Not every patient responds to the different kind of medication. There's a lot of patients responding well to one kind of medication whereas the other medication they don't," he said.

According to some pharmacists, one reason for the shortage include companies merging or discontinuing products, but doctors and patients alike hope the shortage doesn't continue for long.

The American Society of Health System-Pharmacists has a list of drugs that have a shortage.

Click here for the list of current drug shortages