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Informing critical care drug requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Anita Hogg1,
  2. Rachel Huey1,
  3. Michael G Scott1,
  4. Andrew Ferguson2
  1. 1 Medicines Optimisation Innovation Centre, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Antrim, Mid and East Antrim, UK
  2. 2 Intensive Care Medicine Dept, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Anita Hogg, Medicines Optimisation Innovation Centre, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Antrim BT41 2RL, UK; anita.hogg{at}


Objectives The main aim was to develop a process to estimate critical care drug requirements to robustly inform regional procurement planning and preparedness in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The objectives were to identify critical care drugs required, obtain patient usage data and consider current regional practice to establish the requirement.

Method Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts across Northern Ireland (NI) identified critical care drugs required and an estimation of average daily usage data. The Microsoft Excel database was constructed to compile Trust data and establish regional requirement. The database was refined further according to real-world data from NI HSC Trusts, Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre report on COVID-19 in critical care, daily regional COVID-19 figures and other available National data. Components of a tool originally developed for H1N1 and updated for COVID-19 were adapted to reflect the NI context and used in the regional database. The database was clinically reviewed to ensure that it accurately reflected current regional practice given the evolving nature of the pandemic.

Results The critical care drugs required in the pandemic, usage data and current regional practice were identified to establish requirement. A regional database was constructed and used to produce a model for calculating approximate critical drug requirements. The model was used to map critical drug requirements to available stock in Trusts and wholesalers/suppliers, enabling the identification of treatment capacity for these medicines regionally, both currently and for projected surges. Data have also been used in the preparation of weekly regional situation reports provided to both the HSC Board and the Department of Health.

Conclusion The process developed is a robust approach to assist in informing regional critical care drug requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further application has been demonstrated in regional procurement planning and preparedness.

  • drug procurement
  • pharmacy management (organisation, financial)
  • public health
  • intensive & critical care
  • infectious diseases
  • quality in health care

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