Pharmacy News

Dr Marie Sartain
/ Categories: APhA News

Hospital pharmacists say drug shortages are affecting care

New survey findings from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) shows that roughly 99% of health-system pharmacists said they are experiencing drug shortages. Nearly one-third of the respondents said the current shortages are “critically impactful,” causing facilities to delay, ration, or cancel procedures or treatments.

More than 1,000 ASHP members responded to the internal survey between late June and mid-July 2023.

According to the findings, chemotherapy drugs are among the most pressing shortages, with 57% of pharmacists saying this category had a direct effect on patient care.

A separate survey released in June from major cancer centers found that 93% were unable to locate sufficient carboplatin, and 70% experienced shortages of cisplatin. Both are frequently used in combination to treat many forms of cancer.

Meanwhile, the ASHP survey also found that shortages of corticosteroids and other hormonal drugs, in addition to oral liquids such as amoxicillin, have had major effects on patient care.

More than 40% of health system pharmacists said they have had to delay or cancel treatments or procedures because of a drug shortage. Furthermore, 85% said they have had to ration drugs, while 97% said they had to use therapeutic alternatives.

Approximately 85% of the pharmacists also said they would be willing to spend more for drug products from drug companies vetted by a quality recognition program.

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