Objectives Access to emergency drug kits (EDK) during medical emergencies can be life-saving; however, recent doubts about the quality of the kits have been expressed. Procurements of pharmaceuticals to the five regional authorities in Denmark are serviced by Amgros, a public sector organisation owned by the regions and established to create economies of scale and achieve administrative savings by centralisation. This means that Amgros calls for tenders for the supply of pharmaceuticals to the hospital pharmacies. The Hospital Pharmacy in the North Denmark Region does not currently have an effective method to manage Amgros procurements in relation to EDKs. Thus, the objectives were to explore how quality in the management and packing of EDKs is assured and maintained at different hospital pharmacies in Denmark and how this is affected by Amgros procurements.
Methods The hospital pharmacies in Denmark were enrolled in a cross-sectional study. Information about the management and challenges of the EDKs was inquired by means of a questionnaire. Responses were analysed by simple statistics.
Results All eight hospital pharmacies in Denmark completed the questionnaire, and the distribution between single-use and reusable packaging was nearly equal. The hospital pharmacies comply with a variation of regulations of which good distribution practice is the most common. Six hospital pharmacies experience challenges with drug replacements in the EDKs and only one hospital pharmacy complies completely with the Amgros procurement. The majority of the hospital pharmacies use parameters such as price of the new drug and potential expense for new packaging in their decision of whether to comply with the Amgros procurement.
Conclusion The management of the EDKs varies greatly among the hospital pharmacies in Denmark, and national requirements are therefore encouraged to ensure the quality. The challenges experienced with drug replacements reflect that complying with the Amgros procurement can be troublesome.
- medical emergencies
- hospital pharmacy
- emergency drug kits