There is absolutely no excuse for an absence of anesthesia drugs in a hospital in the United States of America preventing a surgery to be performed on schedule or as planned. I am not interested in hearing the various excuses being made by the responsible parties.
It absolutely incredible to me that criminals on the street have no problem whatsoever obtaining high-end pain relief drugs yet major hospitals in the U.S. have to issue their patients Tylenol because of these so-called "shortages".
It's not just hospitals that are finding themselves unable to obtain sufficient quantities of medicine to meet patient demand. Retail and infusion pharmacies are also finding themselves on the short end of the stick, unable to obtain the medicines their patients (customers) need.
Can pharmacies sue drug manufacturers for failing to fulfill demand?
It might be time to begin exploring the possibility of instituting fines for pharmaceutical companies that fail to meet demand. Another option would be to coerce them into entering binding contracts which would hold them liable for compensatory damages in the event their supply fails to meet demand.
Whatever the solution, this entire fiasco is reminiscent of paragraph in George Orwell's 1984 about razor shortages and shortages in general, and for this to be happening in the United States is surreal in addition to being completely and totally unacceptable.
This is America, and if the existing pharmaceutical firms aren't able to get the job done, then it's time for a new competitor to emerge who isn't afraid to create enough of a supply to meet an ever-increasing demand.