Providers Getting Better at Dealing with Drug Shortages, but Challenges Remain

March 5, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Although providers have become more acclimated to and capable of handling long-term, ongoing drug shortages from supply chain disruptions, many continue to face challenges in managing severe supply chain “spikes” in demand, which can create shortage situations of an undetermined time frame, according to a February 2014 report, Drug Shortages 2014: A Premier Healthcare Alliance Update. Premier Inc. conducted a survey of 124 hospital pharmacists and pharmacy experts over a five-week period from December 2013 to January 2014 and found that the most common drugs in shortage include electrolytes; IV fluids and parenteral nutrition solutions; cardiovascular agents used to treat heart disease and other cardiac conditions, such as nitroglycerin IV solution; and agents used for surgery preparation, anesthesia, and sedation, such as propofol.

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