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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Newly published survey shows drug shortages still have major impact on patient care

Newly published survey shows drug shortages still have major impact on patient care.

According to newly published results from a survey of pharmacy directors, drug shortages remain a serious problem for patient safety. Nearly half of the responding directors reported adverse events at their facilities due to drug shortages, including patient deaths.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 5.24.47 AMIn 2009, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists put drug shortage management guidelines in place for health care providers to try and minimize negative impacts patient care, and in 2011, following an Executive Order from President Barak Obama on reducing drug shortages, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increased its efforts to prevent and resolve drugs shortages. While the FDA recently reported that the number of new shortages in 2012 was down to 117, from 251 in 2011, drug shortages are still having a major impact on patient care.

A common practice to help mitigate the problems caused by a drug shortage is to use an alternative medication when possible. Even when alternate medication can be used, there can be many unintended consequences and additional side effects. In general, drug shortages have been known to cause, or contribute to a variety of issues, which were also represented in the newly published survey responses including:

  • Medication errors (such as wrong dose, wrong drug, wrong frequency),
  • Increased institutional costs,
  • Cancelled care, and
  • Delayed treatment.

In addition to the more well-known impacts, the new JMCParticle revealed that nearly 10 percent of the reported adverse patient outcomes were increased readmissions due to drug shortage related treatment failures.

Read the entire article here

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January 22, 2014 - Posted by | health care |

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