Flu Vaccine Tip of Drug Shortage (cont.)

ASHP has worked for years to help health-system pharmacists deal with the problem of drug shortages, including launching a Drug Shortages Resource Center (www.ashp.org/shortage) that provides timely reports on medications in short supply as well as their therapeutic alternatives. Eighty-six percent of survey respondents reported using the information provided by the center.

The Society co-sponsored a conference with the American Medical Association in 2002 to identify solutions to the endemic problems that cause shortages in the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain. In addition, ASHP has developed guidelines for managing drug product shortages. The Society also has adopted a policy position urging the Food and Drug Administration to broaden its term of "medically necessary" drugs so that manufacturers would be required to provide notification of discontinuations for a broader array of products.

For more information on the report, "National Survey of the Impact of Drug Shortages in Acute Care Hospitals," gotohttp://www.ashp.org/public/pubs/ajhp/showFile.cfm?cfid=2883648&CFToken=30948868&id=2072

For more than 60 years, ASHP has helped pharmacists who practice in hospitals and health systems improve medication use and enhance patient safety. The Society's 30,000 members include pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who practice in inpatient, outpatient, home-care, and long-term-care settings, as well as pharmacy students. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists help people make the best use of medicines, visit ASHP's Web site, www.ashp.org, or its consumer Web site, www.SafeMedication.com.

Source: American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists press release, September 27, 2004 (www.ashp.org)

Last Editorial Review: 10/8/2004