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N.J. EMTs Warn They’re Running Out Of Medication

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Ambulance Medication (credit: CBS 2)

Ambulance Medication (credit: CBS 2)

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NEPTUNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An ambulance company serving the Jersey Shore says it’s running out of some emergency medicines.

“We’re trained to save peoples lives and we’re being handcuffed. The medication isn’t available to us,” said Bob Bauter, who has worked as an EMT for more than 20 years.

“We expect before the middle of this month to run out of the medication that could stop a seizure, which could be a life-threatening to a patient,” he added.

Employer MONOC Emergency Medical Services in New Jersey said it can’t get a hold of medication needed to treat seizures. They said they’ve called drug companies, wholesalers and hospitals, reports CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano.

Scott Matin, vice-president of MONOC, said it’s not because of cost or for lack of trying.

“As we’re almost out of one drug, we’re using another drug to take its place, but pretty soon that drug will also be out,” he said.

On the Food and Drug Administration website, CBS 2 found 47 pages of information on drug shortages, including the drugs that MONOC said it is in desperate need of.

The reasons vary from manufacturing delays to increased demand.

“We do not have the legal authority to require companies to manufacture a drug that is in short supply. The agency can, however, work with manufacturers to quickly resolve, if possible, many of the issues that led to the shortage,” the FDA said.

“There is that possibility down the road that there simply won’t be a medicine to treat the patient that needs to be treated,” Matin said.

One of the drug companies that makes seizure medication told CBS 2 it is working hard to alleviate the shortage and that it has contacted the wholesaler through which MONOC buys its medicines.

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