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On 7 November, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) released the results of its 2018 Medicines Shortages survey which underline that medicines shortages remain a major problem for patients in European hospitals. In a number of ways, the issues have become more troublesome since the publication of EAHP’s last survey results in 2014.
Overall, the 2018 Medicines Shortages survey gathered information on the current nature of the medicines shortages problems in Europe, including their prevalence, the most common types of shortages as well as their impact on patient care and hospital pharmacy services. In addition, hospital pharmacists were asked about existing national mechanisms for dealing with or monitoring shortages and how they typically manage the problems caused by shortages.
In particular, the percentage of hospital pharmacists reporting shortages to be an issue in terms of delivering the best care to patients has seen a significant increase with 91.8% respondents, compared with 86.2% in 2014 stressing that medicines shortages are a problem faced in their hospital pharmacy. This negative trend was further confirmed by over half of the 1666 surveyed hospital pharmacists who highlighted that they are seeing patient care delays as a consequence of medicines shortages. Antimicrobial agents, preventive and oncology medicines were reported as the three most common medications in shortage. Many also remarked that reliable communication listing the reasons, estimated durations and other advice to pharmacists, prescribers and patients is still missing. The EAHP consequently calls on national governments and the European Commission …
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