Nutritional Drug Shortages Take Toll on The Smallest Patients

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"It's definitely been a struggle for [doctors] to understand," said Cober. "They really want to know why all of a sudden this went so south. When [medicine like] phosphorous is the crust of the earth, why don't we have something readily available?"

Cober said that in recent weeks the drug shortages have slightly eased and she is hopeful that the FDA imports from Norway were not a one-time event and that continued imports would help completely alleviate the shortages.

For Finley, Gerndt said she is glad that the FDA had allowed imports, but found no sign that they would significantly help her son.

The week after the FDA announced the Norway imports, Gerndt was told by her home health care pharmacy that there were no trace elements, including zinc and copper, available for Finley's TPN.

"That was one where I was like, 'They got to be kidding me,'" said Gerndt, who talked to her doctors about her concerns. "[I said], I think we're over estimating what Finley can take."

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