Background Shortage of medicines is recognised as a global problem by the World Health Organisation. It has a significant impact on patients and health professionals.
Purpose Analysis of the impact of the shortages of medicines (SM) and pharmaceutical interventions (PI) in a tertiary hospital.
Material and methods Retrospective descriptive study of SM from January 2015 to February 2017. A database was set up where there was recorded: the medicine involved, pharmaceutical form and dosage, type of shortage, reason for and resolution of the shortage, and PI. The SM were classified according to their consequences and the PI carried out: requests for foreign medicines via the Spanish Medicines and Health Products Agency (SMHPA), the dispensation of another presentation available in the hospital pharmaceutical guide (HPG), change in supplier and elaboration of the magistral preparation.
Results During the period of study 33 SM were registered. The main cause (60. 60%) was a temporary shortage in commercialisation. Some medicines involved were: aztreonam 1000 mg vials, vancomicine 500 mg vials and dexamethasone 1 mg tablets.
The second cause of SM was suspension of commercialisation on the part of the SMHPA (30. 30%). Some medicines involved were: hydrocortisone 100 mg vials and flunitrazepam 1 mg tablets.
The most frequent PI was ordering medicine from abroad, with 15 cases registered (45. 45%) followed by dispensation of a different medicine with the same active drug and the same mode of administration available in the hospital HPG with 12 cases registered (36. 36%). The change in provider occurred in four cases (12. 12%). The medicine digoxine 0. 25 mg/ml ampoule 1 ml ceased commercialisation, thereby requiring a change in supplier, and subsequently digoxin 0. 25 mg/ml 2 ml was acquired. In order to prevent errors in administration the medicine was relabelled, warning health workers of the new presentation, in order to increase safety for hospitalised patients.
Magistral preparation was carried out for the medicine dexametasone 1 mg tablets (3. 03%).
The medicine flunitrazepan 1 mg tablets has no commercialised therapeutic alternative and therefore it was suggested to the medical personnel to change to another benzodiazepine.
Conclusion The high incidence of SM in the pharmaceutical service makes PI necessary in order to guarantee treatment of hospitalised patients, thus preventing potential errors in medication and increasing the quality and safety of the pharmaceutical process.
No conflict of interest
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