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June 8, 2024 9 mins
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Welcome to American Medicine Today, presentedby the Benati Spine Institute, featuring internationally
acclaimed inventor of the Benati spine procedures, Alfred Benati, MD. Here your
host, Kimberly Bermel Benati and cohost Ethan Ucker. Welcome to American Medicine
Today. I'm Kimberly Benati alongside EthanYucker and world renowned orthopedic surgeon, doctor

Alfred Benatti. Drug shortages in theUS are at an all time high,
with low supplies of everything from lifesaving injections to diabetes medications affecting hospitals,
pharmacies and patients around the country.Joining us to discuss is doctor Sean Roland,
of, founder and CEO of JACEMedical. Welcome to the program.

Thank you so much for having me. Certainly now, we've been covering these
drug shortages for quite some time now. Why are many of these essential drugs
hard to come by? Well,a bit of a complicated question and answer,
but really what it boils down tois here in the United States,
ninety plus percent of what we consumeare generic medications, non branding medications,

things that have been out for along time and Unfortunately, over the years,
we have gotten out to a placewhere virtually one hundred percent of those
medications are produced overseas, typically inplaces like China and India. That supply
chain is just getting complicated and unsustainable, and so even a small disruption from

where it's manufactured to when it getsdelivered at the pharmacy or at your home,
it's just ripe for disruption. Sowhy aren't we so reliant on foreign
nations, like you said, Indiaand China mainly for these drugs. And
also, we recently did a storya segment on the fact that the FDA,
obviously our governmental agency, actually wentto a place in China and flagged

them for just about everything from sanitationto just quality of medication, what have
you. They got flagged for it, but seemingly nothing thing gets done about
that because we are so reliant onthem. And why do you think that
is? Yeah, that gets intothat complicated part of what I said,
And you're absolutely right, we haveentrusted agencies like the FDA to do something.

I mean, I can't think oftoo many things that are more important
than what we actually ingest into ourbodies and having proper oversight and regulations in
that regard, and the truth ofthe matter is they're underfunded, they're understaffed.
We've got all these factories in Chinathat are operating without much oversight,
even when it comes down to someof the regulations that they've been able to

work into the deal, where noteven the FDA knows where they're procuring some
of their ingredients. There's just anoverall lack of transparency in the industry.
Now on top of that, justlater in the economics of it. You
know, as I said, theseare generic medications. The margins are slim,
so you follow the money, andit's just been a race to the
bottom. And so now we've gotthese these factories in far places where there's

been some consolidation, you might haveone or two factories making a key ingredient
for the entire world's supply of amedication like doxycycling, for example, an
ant common antibiotic. And so atthe end of the day, it becomes
a national security issue that you're right, we have just we've been spinning our
wheels a lot and talking about ita lot, but I have yet to

see any action that is really ledto changes that will make a real difference
for us bringing production back to theUnited States, making it so that other
companies can start to produce these medications. There's a lot of places we could
start, and so far we're kindof just left to our own devices.
I don't understand why are we sopassive on these things. The country has

the economy, we throw money allover the world for stupidity, and we
don't have absolutely any defense of ourown population, including now the quality of
medications that they are coming from theseforeign countries. So why is possible that

this is happening and it's not anytype of outroar. I think that people
need to be more informed or weneed to start to talk about just some
direction to bring back the industry here. We create the industry here, and
why we abandon that industry is justeconomic, I mean, it's not enough

money or why. Yeah, youknow, I couldn't agree more with what
you said. And yes, thefinancial aspect of it is a big part
of it. There's a big strategiccomponent to it. There's a lot of
competing interests here. I mean whenyou think about the fact that and you
kind of mentioned a little bit inyour question, our population, our soldiers
who are out fighting wars are dependent, you know, when they get sick

on the battlefield, They're dependent onmedications that in some instances becoming from a
country that's not too far off fromthe country they're fighting. It boggles the
mind and I can only sit backand ask the same questions you are.
Why is this not a bigger deal? Why aren't more people talking about this?
It's why I'm here now is totry and get raise awareness, get

the word out what I've found inmy profession and even me as a physician
before I got into this, BeforeI started, Jason, I had no
idea about our dependence on China forour pharmaceuticals. It's just not common knowledge.
People don't know when they go toWalmart or wherever they get their prescriptions
from and that that medication is notmade in the United States. And so

I think it's really just raising awareness, letting people know this is what's going
on. This is why it's important. And while right now there didn't used
to be a lot of options ofwhat what could you do? Bringing production
back to the US is no smallis no small undertaking. It's going to
take a lot of different invested partiesto make something like that happen. It's

a national security issue. I thinkgovernment should be involved. But in the
meantime, what do we do asindividuals? What? What? What do
you do for yourself or your family? It's why we formed Jays. It's
something I feel very passionate about andand it's why I'm here trying to raise
excuse me, raise awareness about it. Yeah, but that is not strong
enough. No matter what you door what we do, it's not.

So. The point is, ifthis is a is economic how how is
it possible that we throw money insuch a bad way That is shameful and
we cannot create an industry. Wecannot create small laboratories. And those small

laboratories are very difficult to invest.How much money it is because if you
start with one medication, you havea laboratory, and you start to grow
without medication, the possibilities that youcan add other ones once you start to
grow the need is so enormous.Then you have you have, you have

everything. When somebody said I needpatients, well you have the patients.
Oh I need surgeon. Oh youhave the surgeons. Oh I have the
instruments. Oh you have the instruments. What you're wrong. Why we don't
put together the system and start tocreate a small, competing type of an
industry that started with the things thatthey are initially necessary here and then it

start to be aggressive to take backthe industry. Why do these not the
government? We have all the pieces. You're absolutely right. You know,
if you look historically, there wasactually you know, it was a conservative
strategic effort. The Chinese government camein and subsidized the market to the degree
that that there was. And andI guess the other US factories and producers,

whether they were ignorant to it orwhether they were financially motivated, we
drop the ball, and now herewe are in this in this really difficult
position. But I totally agree withyou. It's it's something that can be
fixed. All the pieces are there. We just need more. We need
more people talking about it and morewill to get something done. Can can
we talk about what some of thosemedications are that are being shorted right now?

Some of those diabetes medications, justnormal pharmaceuticals, chemotherapy medications, And
then what's the consequence to those thatneed it? How were they able to
deal with those shortages and how isit going to impact them. So when
we talk about which medications are outthere, there's there's the medications that are

being talked about today. You mentionedsome of them, things like the chemotherapy
agents, things like medications for ADHD. But what I think is important to
understand is that the list is growing, it changes every day, and while
it might not be your medication today, there's just as much of a chance
that it could be on it tomorrow. And so it's really not about oh,
it's this medication today. The factof the matter is they're all fair

game, and so really what you'vegot to take things into your own hands.
You've got to talk to your doctor, you've got to approach multiple pharmacies,
you've got to go to places likejays dot com, and there are
things you can do to protect yourselfso that if it happens, if it
is your medication on the list,you're good to go. Well. Thank
you so much, doctor Sean Roland, founder and CEO of Jase Medical.

Thank you for being on the program. Thank you, thanks for having me.
Take great care you too. Makesure you stay tuned. We'll have
more after the break. You're listeningto American Medicine Today.
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