Background Complete or partial drug shortages are harmful for patients. Their number has been increased by 10 in 5 years. In this context, a quantitative and descriptive analysis of these shortages was performed.
Purpose Increasing drug shortages have been reported in several studies. This analysis aimed to confirm this rise from 2007 to 2015 and to characterise the shortages in our hospital in 2014.
Material and methods The pharmacy supply chain team (1 pharmacist, 2 pharmacy residents, 2 pharmacy technicians) gathered, selected and analysed shortages data from health authorities, purchase groups and pharmaceutical factories. Shortages impacting our stock were pointed out and listed in an Excel worksheet, updated daily since 2007. This file could be consulted by the whole hospital pharmacy team. To keep.
caregivers (physicians, health managers, nurses, pharmacists) informed, briefing notes, including a strict alternative drug, substitution by a non-strict alternative drug (different dosages or administration routes) and complete shortages without alternative treatments, were sent.
Results Between 2007 and 2015, shortages increased up to 122% in our hospital. In 2014, we were short of 223 references among 2868 available drugs (eg, 8% of our drug formulary), the amount of purchases account was 145 000€. Over the same period, the most represented Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classifications were nervous system (22%), anti-infectives for systemic use (21%), and blood and blood forming organs (8%). Average duration of a shortage was 64 days (1–720 days) for drugs not subjected to quotas and 180 days (11–792 days) for drugs with quotas. In 43% of cases, shortages impacted essential medicines according to the WHO classification and 38% had no alternative. Moreover, 38 briefing notes were sent to care units.
Conclusion The number of drug shortages increased every year. The use of an updated file of current shortages shared among the pharmacy team and health information management by writing briefing notes could be solutions to deal with such a challenge.
References and/or Acknowledgements
Bogaert P. A qualitative approach to a better understanding of the problems underlying drug shortages, as viewed from Belgian, French and the European Union’s perspectives. PLOS One May 2015
WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, 19th list (April 2015)
References and/or AcknowledgementsNo conflict of interest.
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