AHA Survey: Drug Shortages Delay Patient Treatment

More than 99% of hospitals reported a drug shortage in the past six months and nearly half experienced 21 or more shortages, according to an AHA survey. As a result, eight in 10 hospitals report delaying patient treatment and seven in 10 report treating patients with less effective drugs, according to the June survey of 820 hospitals. “The number of drugs in short supply is increasing at an alarming rate and hospitals are working diligently to reduce the impact to the patients they care for,” said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock, who announced the survey results at a briefing on Capitol Hill. “Clinicians need more notice about drug shortages so they have time to act to ensure that patient care is not disrupted.”

The labor costs associated with managing shortages translates to an estimated annual impact of $216 million nationally, according to a new survey by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Joining the AHA and ASHP at the announcement were Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Tom Rooney (R-FL) – sponsors of AHA-backed legislation (S.296/H. 2245) that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tools to better manage drug shortages and prevent them in the future.


07-18-2011 09:48 (EDT)