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Injectable Medication Shortage is Affecting Terminally Ill Patients
[March 13, 2018]

Injectable Medication Shortage is Affecting Terminally Ill Patients

Up to 75% of dying patients experience pain requiring opioid analgesics when they enter the terminal phase. In response to the injectables shortage, a growing number of large hospice organizations and their pharmacists are adopting the rectal route of administration thanks to a nurse who invented a device (the Macy Catheter) to make rectal administration discreet, painless, and reliable.

The injectable opioid shortage is forcing clinicians to look for alternate routes of medication administration.

"The supply shortage of injectable opioids is putting pressure on pharmacists to find alternative routes, especially for our end-of-life patients," said Dr. Nate Hedrick, PharmD, Manager of Clinical Services, ProCare HospiceCare.

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that morphine, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and fentanyl - staples of pain control and sedation in hospitals and hospices- are in short supply.

"Pain management is of critical importance for patients facing serious or terminal illness. With supplies of injectable pain medications in short supply clinicians need an immediate alternative. I am pleased to see the Macy Catheter meeting this need in both the inpatient and home hospice settings," said Brad Macy, RN, BSN, CHPN, 2013 Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse of the Year and co-founder of Hospi Corporation.

Wendy Schmitz, M.D., Vice President of Medical Services, Ohio's Hospice of Dayton, said "Based on my experience on our hospice inpatient unit, the Macy Catheter is faster than subcutaneous in controlling pain with opioids and I am able to control pain with less opioid dose adjustments. It is also very effective in most instances in quickly controlling terminal agitation and other symptoms. It saves nursing time and decreases medication cost and waste. I will never go back to my prior practice and will continue using the Macy Catheter."

Patented and FDA cleared, the Macy Catheter provides access to the clinically proven rectal route of delivery. It is designed to make the rectal route a practical, painless and discreet alternative for those medications that can be prescribed per rectum. The Macy Catheter can be used in multiple settings, including in hospice and palliative care, skilled nursing facilities, and the emergency department.

About Hospi Corporation

Hospi Corporation developed the Macy Catheter to provide the best alternative for rapid administration of medication and fluids. The Macy Catheter improves patient care and nursing efficiency while decreasing the cost of care. For more information, visit

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