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Hospital fears shortage of drug imports

PUBLISHED: 13:53 15 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 March 2010

VITAL drugs supplies from the United States to our hospitals could grind to a halt as a result of this week's terrorist attacks.

VITAL drugs supplies from the United States to our hospitals could grind to a halt as a result of this week's terrorist attacks.

At Ipswich Hospital, bosses are preparing in case the many deliveries of drugs they receive from across the Atlantic are disrupted - because either manufacture or transport systems break down while Americans concentrate of rescuing people from the wreckage.

Head of nursing Clare Barlow said: "It may be that what has happened, will have a a very great impact on our drugs supply from the US.

"Our pharmacy manager is identifying which drugs which come from America, and highlighting those to see whether we can obtain them from local suppliers instead."

In the first four months of this financial year, the hospital has spent £66,500 more than it had budgeted for, on drugs.

The ever-increasing cost of drugs to treat patients with, is one of the main reasons the hospital is under pressure financially.

Since 1997, its drugs bill has soared from £4.2million to £6.2million.

Meanwhile, medical professionals in the US, are facing a horrendous task.

The New York City Medical Examiner's office has called in experts from across the US to assist in the process of receiving and identifying the bodies of victims.

They will soon embark on what is thought will be the largest post-mortem examination in the history of medicine.

Temporary mortuaries have been set up in Brookes Brothers clothing store near the disaster site, and a convey of refrigerated trailers has arrived from New Jersey.

The bodies will be moved from the clothing store to be identified at the Institute of Forensic Medicine.

Assistant medical director of the emergency room at New York University Downtown hospital, Tony Dajer, said: "No bodies have been brought in intact".

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