WKOW TV Madison: Mercyhealth Reacts to Fentanyl Shortage

JANESVILLE (WKOW) — Finding fentanyl on the streets these days is pretty easy to do, but across the country, hospitals are having a difficult time getting pain relieving injectable drug.

“The Food & Drug Administration, the FDA declared a national shortage,” Mercyhealth’s pharmacy director Dr. Don Janczak said.

Ironically, none of it is tied to anything related to the illegal drug trade.

“Where this is coming from is Puerto Rico,” Dr. Janczak said.  Hurricane Maria is now creating complications for the pharmacy.

“The manufacturers, they expect this is gonna continue for at least another 60 to 90 days,” he said.

Mixing tricky pain IV’s is usually not something his pharmacy techs need to do, most come pre-mixed, but with the Fentanyl supply and demand issues.

“We’re to the point where some of those pre-mixed formulas are not available to us, so we have at pharmacy doing more compounding.”

It means techs are burning the midnight oil, working 10 to 12 hours days, instead of their usual 8.

“They are doing really good and helpful,” he said.

Another item in short supply, the Fentanyl IV drip bags.  Dr. Janczak says they also come from Puerto Rico.

“This is something new for us, something we have to deal with,” he said.

To watch the original segment, CLICK HERE.

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