Background and importance Drugs shortages are becoming a public health issue. Public hospitals are meant to buy drugs through purchasing groups which give relevant data on shortages.
Aim and objectives Data from two hospitals of different sizes and from different purchasing groups were compared to build a regional view of shortages.
Material and methods A 4 years retrospective study was carried out using data from a university hospital (3000 beds), from its purchasing group and from a public neighbouring hospital (1800 beds) of another purchasing group. Different indicators were calculated: unavailability profile (shortage; quota—quantitative or qualitative— limitation of delivery and issues), median duration and availability rate of an alternative drug. Data were then compared between the purchasing group and the university hospital, and between the hospitals, using the Student’s t test.
ResultsBetween the purchasing group and the university hospital, there were significant differences for each indicator (p<0.0001). Regarding the hospitals, there were only significant differences for the unavailability profile (p<0.0001) and median duration (p=0.0405).
Conclusion and relevance The significant differences regarding the unavailability profile may be due to the lack of common definitions on shortages. The behaviour of the manufacturers regarding the size of the hospital might be another reason as the mediation duration was different between the hospitals. Quotas were two times longer than regular shortages, but they put more strain on teams and led to the consideration of the ethical aspects of the dispensation.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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