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Hospitals Face Growing Drug Shortages

Results of a new American Hospital Association survey indicate nearly all hospitals have experienced a drug shortage in the past six months and many have delayed patient treatment as a result. The shortage is also driving up drug costs for hospitals. Findings from the AHA survey further document the problem reported by other groups.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has published guidelines on managing the drug shortages in hospitals.


AHA survey on drug shortages. American Hospital Association, July 12, 2011. http://www.aha.org/aha/content/2011/pdf/drugshortagesurvey.pdf

Kaakeh R and others. Impact of drug shortages on U.S. health systems. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 2011 Oct;68:e3 [online preprint] http://www.ajhp.org/site/DrugShortages.pdf?fm_preview=1

Survey reveals 90 percent of anesthesiologists experiencing drug shortages of anesthetics. American Society of Anesthesiologists press release, May 9, 2011. http://www.asahq.org/For-the-Public-and-Media/Press-Room/ASA-News/Survey-Reveals-90-Percent-of-Anesthesiologists-Experiencing-Drug-Shortages-of-Anesthetics.aspx

Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Drug shortages: national survey reveals high level of frustration, low level of safety. ISMP Medication Safety Alert, Sept. 23, 2010.http://www.ismp.org/Newsletters/acutecare/articles/20100923.asp

ASHP Expert Panel on Drug Product Shortages: Fox ER and others. ASHP guidelines on managing drug product shortages in hospitals and health systems. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 2009 Aug 1;66:1399. http://www.ashp.org/DocLibrary/Policy/DrugShortages/ASHP_shortage_guide09.pdf

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Drug shortages: current drugs [listing]. http://www.ashp.org/drugshortages/current/

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Current drug shortages [listing]. http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/drugshortages/ucm050792.htm

Posted by the AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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