Pharmacists cite highest number of drug shortages since 2001

After conducting their research, the researchers reach out to drug companies to confirm the existence of a shortage. They also inquire about the reasons behind the shortage and how long it is expected to persist. The findings are then published on the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ website, ashp.org.

It is worth noting that the Drug Information Service’s definition of a drug shortage is broader compared to the one used by the Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, the reported shortage numbers in Utah are generally larger than those reported by the FDA. For instance, if a drugstore has the adult-strength over-the-counter medicine but lacks the children’s version of the same drug, the Utah researchers would consider it a shortage, whereas the FDA might not classify it as such.
Certain types of medications are currently in short supply, including chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and pain medications. Additionally, there is a shortage of medications used in hospital crash carts, which are mobile units that hospitals use to provide immediate life-saving interventions during cardiac or respiratory arrest.

According to research conducted by Utah researchers, manufacturing problems and difficulties in the supply chain are the most commonly cited reasons for these shortages. The researchers gather data by directly contacting drug companies and then follow up to verify the existence of a shortage, as well as the reasons behind it and how long it is expected to last. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists publishes these findings on its website, ashp.org.
According to the Drug Information Service, their definition of a drug shortage is wider in scope compared to that of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, the shortage numbers reported in Utah are generally higher than those reported by the FDA. For instance, if a drugstore carried the adult-strength over-the-counter medicine but not the children’s version of the same drug, the Utah researchers would classify it as a shortage, whereas the FDA might not consider it as such, according to Fox.

The drugs experiencing shortages include chemotherapy agents, antibiotics, medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and pain medications. There are also shortages of medications used in hospital crash carts, which are mobile units in hospitals designed for urgent interventions during cardiac or respiratory arrest.

Based on the data collected by the Utah researchers, usually obtained through direct contact with drug companies, manufacturing issues or difficulties in the supply chain are the most commonly cited reasons for these shortages.

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