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FROM THIS EPISODE

Drug shortages have been on the rise in recent years and a record number of shortages this year has alarmed healthcare professionals and lawmakers. Why are doctors and pharmacists having a hard time finding drugs needed for treating cancers and infections? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, guest host Sara Terry asks what can be done to solve the problem now and to prevent it in the future. Also, a new audit shows State Lands Commission left lease money on the table, and the East Coast gets a sharp shake. Was the earthquake a wake up call?

Banner image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Julia Flucht
Andrea Brody

Making News Audit Shows State Lands Commission Left Lease Money on the Table 14 MIN, 16 SEC

A state audit released yesterday shows that California has lost more than $8 million because of private companies that are not paying rent on state-owned land. The State Lands Commission, which is charged with collecting lease money, acknowledges the lost funds but claims that staff cuts have hampered their ability to conduct the necessary audits and appraisals of the land. We hear more from Margarita Fernandez, Chief of Public Affairs for the California State Auditor, and from Curtis Fossum, Executive Director of the California State Lands Commission.

Guests:
Margarita Fernandez, California State Auditor
Curtis Fossum, California State Lands Commission

Main Topic Cancer Drug Shortages on the Rise 34 MIN, 22 SEC

Doctors and pharmacists are reporting a record number of drug shortages this year, drugs needed to treat child leukemia, breast and colon cancer, and infections. It's a trend that's been building over the past few years. Hospitals with the raw ingredients in hand are sometimes resorting to mixing doses themselves and oncologists have had to prescribe medications in less-than-recommended amounts or to delay treatment altogether. Doctors' groups, lawmakers and federal officials are rushing to find solutions, including the creation of a national stockpile of cancer medicines. What's causing the shortfall, and how is it affecting treatments and the lives of patients?  Is over-regulation part of the problem? Why have drug companies stopped making certain drugs?

Guests:
Gardiner Harris, New York Times
Tom Kornberg, University of California at San Francisco
Gordon Johnston, Generic Pharmaceutical Association
Amy Klobuchar, Senator (D-MN)

Reporter's Notebook The Earth Moves on the East Coast 7 MIN, 55 SEC

A rare trembler centered in Virginia yesterday rattled nerves up and down the East Coast.  The 5.8 earthquake frightened many people who've never experienced a quake and caused a fair share of good-natured ribbing from those of us who have, when we heard about colleagues fleeing into the streets in Washington, DC. But how serious was yesterday's quake, and what about the others that followed in Colorado and northern California? Writer-journalist Simon Winchester is author of A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906.

Guests:
Simon Winchester, author, 'A Crack at the Edge of the World'

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