BRAINTREE, MA—From antibiotics to analgesics and anesthetics to ACLS drugs, there is an underreported epidemic of drug shortages in America. With over 140 vital drugs currently in short supply, the health of patients is being adversely affected. While acknowledging this issue is real and serious, pharmacists today reassured a worried public that there’s one pharmaceutical product they’ll never run out of: GoLytely, everyone’s favorite bowel cleanser.
GoLytely, a polyethylene glycol solution that completely cleanses the colon of stool, is well
known for its, ahem, special smell and taste, and patients guzzle it several liters at a time. Most agree they’d have a strong reaction if GoLytely suddenly disappeared off of store shelves.
“Please don’t worry!” said Bradley Tice, President of the American Pharmacists Association. “While it’s true your doctor soon won’t be able to treat your infection, restart your heart or anesthetize you before surgery due to severe drug shortages, I can confidently tell you that you’ll always be able to prep for your colonoscopy.
“I know many of you were probably concerned you’d have to delay—or God forbid, cancel—the colonoscopy procedure you’ve eagerly been anticipating, but I can’t stress enough that there’s nothing to worry about. We have enough GoLytely solution to fill all of Earth’s oceans ten times over.”
Braintree Laboratories Inc, the maker of GoLytely, reiterated the same message. In a brief press release, the company stated: “There’s enough GoLytely for the entire world population—all 7.7 billion of us—to undergo colonoscopies every day for the rest of our lives. Rest assured, the planet will run out of water and oxygen before it runs out of GoLytely. One day soon, we hope, you may even have running GoLytely come out of your faucets at home!”
In fact, there is such a surplus of GoLytely that many believe the US Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) 2002 recommendation that everyone over the age of 50 get a screening colonoscopy was not based on any scientific evidence but rather that health officials “just didn’t know what the hell else to do with all this damn GoLytely.”
Regarding the concerning shortages of other essential medications, health officials stress that they are working on addressing the issue, though it may take some time. “It’s very possible,” said Surgeon General Jerome Adams, “we’ll have to delay treating your sepsis or life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia, but while you’re waiting, why not rule out colon cancer a few dozen times?”
So, don’t lose any sleep worrying about the availability of GoLytely; lose sleep because you just drank 2 liters of the solution and are spending all night getting to know the toilet. And don’t be surprised if the next USPSTF guidelines for colon cancer screening advise weekly colonoscopies for everyone aged 18 and older.