A hospital emergency room. Photo: Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Emergency rooms are facing severe shortages of commonly used drugs, in part because of problems at Pfizer plants, The New York Times reports.

Details: Shortages of pain medications like morphine are especially severe.

  • Pfizer is the country's largest manufacturer of generic injectable drugs, and these shortages have gotten worse as the Food and Drug Administration uncovered serious safety concerns at multiple Pfizer facilities.
  • The FDA has loosened some of its restrictions in the face of growing shortages, allowing Pfizer to sell some products that normally would have to be recalled.

The issue: These drugs' low profit margins are part of the reason more companies don't manufacture them, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told the Times.

  • “We are still in the position of trying to put a Band-Aid on a market that fundamentally hasn’t changed,” he said. “Today it’s one drug, tomorrow is going to be another drug. We’ve got to think of something more holistic and comprehensive.”

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations. Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Coronavirus testing is a windfall. Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.

The GOP's monstrous math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans, win or lose next week, face a big — and growing — math problem.

The state of play: They're relying almost exclusively on a shrinking demographic (white men), living in shrinking areas (small, rural towns), creating a reliance on people with shrinking incomes (white workers without college degrees) to survive.

Right-wing misinformation machine could gain steam post-election

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With less than a week until the 2020 election, researchers have expressed concern that the information ecosystem today is ripe for an unprecedented level of exploitation by bad actors, particularly hyper-partisan media and personalities on the right.

Why it matters: The misinformation-powered right-wing media machine that fueled Donald Trump's 2016 victory grew stronger after that win, and it's set to increase its reach as a result of the upcoming election, whether Trump wins or loses.