We're Running Low on Drugs

Not recreational drugs, which are in seemingly endless supply, but about 180 medications used to treat cancer, bacterial infections, and other serious illnesses. It's the dysfunctional marketplace's fault again! The marketplace doesn't care about your cancer.

But relax a little: Today President Barack Obama will sign an executive order telling the Food and Drug Administration that they should do something about this drug problem. The order is supposed to make it easier and faster for drug companies to pop out pills and also step up reporting of both drug shortages and price-gouging attempts by the pharmaceutical companies. Obama will also announce his support for new legislation that's supposed to help the FDA prevent future drug shortages.

Actually, go ahead and worry: The Executive Order is only a "modest" effort, says the New York Times—one that "is unlikely to resolve the problem soon or entirely." Then please do us all a favor and postpone your serious illnesses until the shortages have been alleviated somewhat, and there's enough drugs to go around for everyone. [NY Times. Image e-MagineArt.com/Flickr]