Background Problems caused by medicines shortages are serious, threaten patient care in hospitals and require urgent action.
Purpose To evaluate the economic impact of drugs’ shortages and analyse the consequences that it entailed in hospital pharmacy services.
Material and methods A retrospective observational study was performed. Medication requests were reviewed through the application of management of medicines in special situations (AGMSE) of the Spanish Medicines Agency (AEMPs) in the past 2 years (from July 2016 to July 2018) in two regional hospitals.
All purchases made by the pharmacy services during that period were reviewed. Those cases in which the purchase was made through the AGMSE of the AEMPs were studied due to a lack of supply by pharmaceutical laboratories. The economic impact of the supplier change was analysed because it could not be purchased from the national supplier. The purchasing management software (SAP) was used in order to calculate economic data.
Results A total of 447 requests were detected through the AGMSE of the AEMPs in the established period: 129 requests (28.85%) were drug-shortage problems which affected a total of 19 different active substances.
Most of the affected drugs (78.94%) were for intravenous administration.
The price of the national drug invoiced during the study period was compared with the price billed through the AGMSE of the AEMPs. This fact meant an increase of €48,931.32 in comparison with the theoretical amount (€22,953.89). It showed an increase of 213.17% compared to the cost if these stock breakages had not occurred.
Conclusion During the study period, the shortage of medicines involved an increase of 213% in the cost of medicines, concerning numerous drugs, especially those for intravenous administration.
When a lack of supply occurs, small hospitals are affected early, consuming economic resources and increasing the work of health professionals.
Reference and/or acknowledgements
Desabastecimientos de medicamentos: un problema sin resolver. INFAC 2015;23(7).
Reference and/or acknowledgementsNo conflict of interest.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.