While the rate of new drug shortages has fallen, manufacturing problems and FDA import bans continue to cause shortages of certain medications in U.S. hospitals.
Erin Fox, PharmD, FASHP, director of Drug Information at the University of Utah Health Care and adjunct associate professor at the Department of Pharmacotherapy, University of Utah College of Pharmacy, discussed the problems and ongoing challenges relating to drug shortages during last week’s Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information webinar.
The University of Utah Drug Information Service provides content for the ASHP Drug Shortage Resource Center, and Fox has led the drug shortages project since the beginning of the partnership in 2001.
New drug shortages on the decline
For the first half of 2015, 68 new drug shortages have been reported, compared to 185 in 2014.
“The rate of new shortages has decreased and the long-term, active and ongoing shortages are beginning to resolve, but we still have shortages of the basics like antibiotics,” Fox said.
In addition, it is “really difficult to have shortages of basic products like fluids,” Fox said. “It is a manufacturing failure that is not meeting clinicians’ needs. Fluid shortages have affected every patient.”