New York, the state with the highest number of infected and dying in the country, has experienced spikes in demands for fentanyl and other sedatives needed for patients experiencing respiratory failure who are placed on ventilators for up to two weeks. The Food and Drug Administration placed another sedative called midazolam on an official drug shortage list last month.“Everyone has been discussing the requirements for more vents, but no one is discussing the needs for patients when they are on the vents, the sedatives, anesthetics and paralytic agents,” said Onisis Stefas, vice president and chief pharmacy officer at Northwell Health, a 23-hospital system in New York, which has experienced the highest spikes in coronavirus patients in the United States.Other drug shortages have emerged as unintended consequences of the coronavirus. When doctors avoided nebulizers for patients with respiratory trouble hoping to prevent the coronavirus from getting airborne inside their facilities, they inadvertently created shortages of everyday albuterol asthma inhalers in hospitals and retail pharmacies.The shortages highlight heavy U.S. dependence on bulk drug ingredients and finished medicines manufactured in China, India and Europe, medical experts say, but also the FDA’s limited ability to monitor global supply chains, creating vulnerabilities for the health


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