Survivor of a double lung transplant in Louisville, he is fighting for his life and his medicine | News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Mike Olsen, a double lung transplant survivor, continues to fight for his life as supply chain issues and the pandemic prevent him from getting his medication.

One of the drugs Olsen struggled to get a few months ago was one that kept him from rejecting his transplanted lungs.

“About three or four months ago I was ordering some drugs from the pharmaceutical company and they said, ‘We’re totally out,'” Olsen said.

It happened not once, but twice. This time with an antibiotic called colistimethate.

“I waited, it was like two or three days, and I was like, ‘This is really weird, it didn’t come in the mail, nobody calls me, and it’s still not not there,'” Olsen said.

Olsen said the drug appeared after waiting 10 days. He said his drug company called another drug company that Olsen had access to through his wife’s insurance.

“They weren’t talking to each other, and the patient was like, ‘That’s not right. So they finally got it, thank goodness,” he said.

But taking the antibiotic requires syringes and vials of sodium solution – which Olsen said he also couldn’t easily get his hands on.

“I only have four left,” Olsen said. “Which I must remember.”

It left Olsen with a lot of questions and about a month’s worth of medication that he needs for another two months after that.

“You can’t stop the treatment halfway through,” he said.

Medical care shortages have been linked to two things: ongoing supply chain issues and the coronavirus pandemic. Between shipping delays and pressure on medical resources, Olsen said he was just looking for a way to not fall behind on his medication.

“It makes me wonder what’s going on with our medical supply chain, I mean especially with life-saving drugs,” he said.

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