Pharmacists Address National Drug Shortage Concerns

Effectively Managing the Drug ShortageA variety of media sources have been reporting lately on the growing prescription drug shortage problem. The FDA says "this problem is being created by shortages of raw materials, drug makers discontinuing older, and off-patent drugs in favor of newer and more profitable ones, and issuing large recalls of drugs due to quality problems".

An American Hospital Association survey of 820 hospitals revealed that almost 100 percent of hospitals reported a shortage in the last six months and nearly half of the hospitals reported 21 or more drug shortages. Hospitals are experiencing drug shortages across all treatment categories.

The Jefferson County Health Center Pharmacy Director Carri Pumphrey said "we are being affected by drug shortages, but we can often find an alternative to what we need or purchase the medication from a different manufacturer. We advise the physicians when we are having a severe shortage so they can start thinking about alternative therapies. We have not been adversely affected by the shortages on emergency life-saving medications. We make decisions every week about what products to stock when our regular products are unavailable. Patient safety is our first concern. We will continue to work diligently with our pharmaceutical suppliers and physicians so that our patients are not negatively impacted by this situation."

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