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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.
Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; October 31, 2011.
This report outlines the complex nature of drug shortages and suggests strategies to augment the FDA's efforts to address them.
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.
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.
Journal Article > Study
Alpert A, Jacobson M. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Feb 10; [Epub ahead of print].
Drug shortages have become more frequent and may lead to delays in treatment or failure to deliver the appropriate drug, an error of omission. This secondary data analysis examined how oncology drug shortages affected use of chemotherapy medications among patients with newly diagnosed cancer as measured by Medicare claims data. The changes in utilization varied by medication; overall, drug shortages had only a modest impact on the delivery of these drugs to patients with newly diagnosed cancer. This finding contrasts with a prior study showing patient harm related to drug shortages, and the authors recommend further study to understand how to identify and mitigate clinically relevant drug shortages. A WebM&M commentary discussed strategies for preventing or minimizing adverse events associated with drug shortages.