Y2K Concerns over drug hoarding

Drug Hoarding was a major concern for Y2k

y2k prescription drug shortage

Lynn Hasselberger

There were a lot of people who were extremely concerned over many different issues that they thought ” might”  happen when the clock stroked midnight in 1999.  Here is an overview of what peoples concerns were, about the hoarding of prescription drugs for the New Millennium.

The Hoarding of prescription drugs

There is a policy of most insurance companies where they will only pay for a 30 day supply of drugs at a time. This is actually a good policy, since there is obviously a lot of potential for abuse with drugs.  But before y2k people had serious concerns about the ability to get their drugs after y2k. What if the prophecies came true and nobody was able to go to the pharmacy and get life saving drugs? This was one serious concern for a lot of people who rely on drugs for serious medical conditions. People began to collect drugs and stockpile them. If it had not been for the prohibitive cost of  buying large amounts, and the restrictions in place to limit the amount that can be bought, this could have easily become a serious y2k disaster scenario.  The fact is,  this type of hoarding is what could cause a serious shortage of drugs available for purchase.  It turns out there was not really a problem in this area, and all of the concerns were unjustified.   CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association) talks more about the y2k run on prescription drugs here.


Drug Companies Boost supplies to avert the potential shortage

The drug companies did boost production in anticipation of a mass run on prescription drugs. “By virtue of knowing we have more than adequate supplies, that should give our customers confidence that we can meet any extraordinary demand,” said Tom Fuldner, a spokesman at Glaxo Wellcome.

This plan by the drug companies to boost production (or at-least claim a boost) to relax the consumers into believing there was no need to stockpile, might have easily been exactly why the problem never came to fruition.  Overall the drug shortage is one of many examples of people over reacting, and almost creating a problem because they think there “could” be a y2k problem.

There was a lot more than drug hoarding taking place during the y2k scenario. There were also a lot of people who were collecting firearms, weapons and ammunition in large quantities. This “hoarding of ammo and guns is still a common practice even today do to the nature of the US government and Obama. People are buying as much ammunition as they can buy because the government is also buying it in very unusual quantities.