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Drug shortage side effects hit Chattanooga-area hospitals

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Cheryl Rowe dilutes morphine with saline in the Memorial Hospital pharmacy. / Angela Lewis. Chattanooga Times Free Press. Cheryl Rowe dilutes morphine with saline in the Memorial Hospital pharmacy. / Angela Lewis. Chattanooga Times Free Press.
CHATTANOOGA -

(Times Free Press) - Levaquin -- emergency only. Toradol -- very little. Valproate. Studol -- a few.

On any given day, the crowded list on the pharmacy whiteboard at Erlanger Health System features 10 to 15 scribbled names, telling the story of record national drug shortages.

Last year, drug shortages hit record numbers, more than double what they were five years ago, and experts say they expect 2012 to see even higher numbers.

"It's going to get worse before it gets better," warned Dustin Smith, chief operating pharmacist at Erlanger. "Last year we saw a lot of chemotherapy drugs; so far this year it is all over the place."

Read more about this story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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