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October 28, 1974

Medical News

JAMA. 1974;230(4):517-529. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240040003001

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Emergency supplies of heparin available despite hoarding  Yes, there is a shortage of heparin, and no, you should not rush out and order some.Hoarding is already part of the problem, manufacturers say.The Great Heparin Shortage is also due, at least in part, to (1) the nation's unsettled economy, (2) the vagaries of the Midwest hog market, (3) a new way of making sausage, and (4) Americans' inordinate concern for their pets.More about that later. If your hospital is absolutely out of sodium heparin and needs some for an emergency, it can get what is needed simply by contacting a regional or national office of its customary supplier. Informally, the four or five major pharmaceutical manufacturers who make heparin are seeing to it that emergency needs are met.But if heparin stocks are simply a little lower than usual—and that seems to be the case at many