Diabetes Health Professional
Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12 Tips for Traveling With Diabetes
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter
Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Diabetes Health Reference Charts
Professional Issues Archives
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

Drug Shortage Worries the Medical Community, Calls for Emergency Action


Nov 27, 2010

The survey was conducted from July to September 2010, and 1,800 healthcare practitioners participated, 68 percent of whom were pharmacists.

The newest threat to patient health may not be the flu or other epidemics. It could be a major shortage of prescription drugs. The shortage has reached the level of a "national public health crisis," according to a survey conducted by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) this summer. Survey respondents said shortages in the past year were "the worst ever, without a glimmer of hope for any improvement in the near future."

The survey was conducted from July to September 2010, and 1,800 healthcare practitioners participated, 68 percent of whom were pharmacists. According to the ISMP,  the respondents "feel unsupported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and perplexed regarding why the US is experiencing drug shortages of epic proportion that are often associated with third-world countries. Respondents clearly believe the public is severely impacted by this issue, and several suggest that the problem has risen to the level of a national public health crisis."

Thirty-five percent of the respondents reported that their facility had experienced a near miss during the past year due to a medication suddenly not being available. Also of concern was the need to use less desirable, often expensive, unfamiliar alternative drugs-if even available. The use of alternative medicines has led to delayed treatment times for many patients, as doctors and pharmacists scrambled to find alternatives. Several respondents expressed concern over the lack of advanced warning about an impending shortage, as well as precious clinical hours lost to time-consuming activities required to manage drug shortages.

Especially troubling to survey respondents was that many of the drugs involved in the shortages are high-alert medications, such as propofol, heparin, epinephrine, morphine, neuromuscular blocking agents, chemotherapy, 50% dextrose, and parenteral electrolyte supplements. Many other drugs not on high alert but in short supply are essential and lifesaving, such as antibiotics, IV fat emulsion, and fosphenytoin. 

The results of this survey have sparked a call to action. The ISMP has partnered with the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP). The newly assembled taskforce met Friday, November 5, 2010, at the Drug Shortages Summit in Bethesda, Maryland. Representatives from the FDA and pharmaceutical manufacturers were slated to join.

"Healthcare professionals are most alarmed by the increasing volume of medications in short supply, use of unfamiliar alternative drugs, and the potential for errors, poor patient outcomes, or preventable adverse drug events," said ISMP President Michael Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD, FASHP.  "Stakeholders in the process will need to develop a strategic plan aimed at reducing the occurrence of shortages, ensuring more effective FDA oversight, and creating a comprehensive early warning system."

***

Sources:

Institute for Safe Medication Practices 

Pharmacy Times 

 


Categories: Food, Health Care, Medications, Pharmacy, Professional Issues



You May Also Be Interested In...


Comments


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...


Username: Password:
Comment:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.