Critical drug shortages have been widespread during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, especially regarding intravenous sedatives for patients on mechanical ventilation (Mayo Clin Proc 2020;95:1112-5). Unfortunately, drug shortages are not a new phenomenon and have been increasing in number, while disproportionately affecting anesthesia medications, antibiotics, pain medications, nutrition and electrolyte products, and chemotherapy agents (Mayo Clin Proc 2014;89:361-73). There is no one-stop solution since no regulatory agency can require manufacturers to produce a specific product. Increased global demand, consolidation of production, and changes in regulatory standards all play a causative role (Bull World Health Organ 2012;90:158-158A). Economics is the elephant in the room: there is a lack of incentive for manufacturers to produce less profitable drugs. As anesthesiologists, we must be flexible and adapt to this shifting landscape.

The American Medical Association recently defined deskilling...

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