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National Alert Network for Serious Medication Errors. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Institute for Safe Medication Practices; June 16, 2010.
This announcement describes potential dosing errors that may result from a shortage of pre-filled Epinephrine syringes.
Sun LH. Washington Post. April 10, 2012.
This newspaper article discusses strategies hospitals are using to address drug shortages.
ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. April 19, 2012;17:1-3.
This article reports results from a survey of hospital pharmacy staff on patient injury associated with drug shortages.
London, UK: All-Party Pharmacy Group; May 2012.
This report discusses the impact of drug shortages in the United Kingdom and describes potential solutions.
Murray C, Rycek W, Johnson D, Sifuentes-Tovar F. Pharm Purch Prod. January 2013;10:12.
This magazine article details how one academic medical center used a collaborative approach and implemented policies and procedures to address perioperative drug shortages.
Collins TR. The Hospitalist. July 2011.
This article discusses how drug shortages in hospitals can endanger care and suggests that hospitalists communicate with pharmacists to improve patient safety.
Journal Article > Study
Kaakeh R, Sweet BV, Reilly C, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2011;68:1811-1819.
This study surveyed pharmacy directors and discovered that labor costs and managing drug shortages are significant areas of concern.
Journal Article > Review
Rider AE, Templet DJ, Daley MJ, Shuman C, Smith LV. J Pharm Pract. 2013;26:183-191.
Drug shortages have been shown to have serious clinical consequences for affected patients. This review article outlines a systematic approach for managing drug shortages.
Koba M. Fortune. January 6, 2015.
Journal Article > Study
Storey MA, Weber RJ, Besco K, Beatty S, Aizawa K, Mirtallo JM. Nutr Clin Pract. 2016;31:211-217.
Addressing the Global Shortages of Medicines, and the Safety and Accessibility of Children's Medication.
Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2015.
Drug shortages have the ability to affect the patient safety in emergency departments, oncology services, and pediatrics. This report discusses the consequences of drug shortages, approaches different countries are taking to reduce their occurrence, and strategies such as proactive identification of potential supply limitations and collective agreements to manage shortages.
Journal Article > Study
Impact of a drug shortage on medication errors and clinical outcomes in the pediatric intensive care unit.
Hughes KM, Goswami ES, Morris JL. J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2015;20:453-461.
Drug shortages can result in safety consequences, as studies have shown a higher rate of treatment failure and increased adverse events associated with unavailability of first-line therapies. However, this study did not find any change in adverse events in pediatric intensive care unit patients during a shortage of commonly used sedatives and injectable opioid pain medications. The authors note that advance warning of the shortage and development of standardized algorithms for drug substitution may have mitigated the potential safety hazards.
Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; August 24, 2017.
Tools/Toolkit > Fact Sheet/FAQs
Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the University of Utah Drug Information Service; 2018.
Safe handling of concentrated electrolyte products from outsourcing facilities during critical drug shortages.
National Alert Network. Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. May 24, 2018.
Drug shortages can necessitate hospitals to find alternative sources for important medications. This alert raises awareness of risks associated with potassium chloride use due to variations in labeling, packaging, or concentration of outsourced medications. Recommendations include use of barcode scanning and communicating with staff regarding drug shortages.
ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. November 1, 2018;23:1-5. November 15, 2018;23:1-5.
Errors in the administration of intravenous medications can result in patient harm. This set of articles discusses the results of a nationwide IV push medication survey. The first article reviews unsafe practices in care delivery as defined by inpatient clinicians. The second article recommends ways to improve practice such as assessment of current practices, use of prefilled syringes, and heightened attention to effective labeling.