USP Drug Safety Review: Drug shortages may result in errors

December 13, 2004

There are increasing concerns about the frequency and duration of drug product shortages that have led to adverse patient outcomes. The current U.S. shortage of flu vaccine exemplifies the potential negative consequences of patient care either delayed or not provided. Healthcare professionals have devised methods of dealing with drugs in short supply, but some methods have led to product confusion and/or calculation errors resulting in the inadvertent administration of the wrong drug or wrong dose.