Blessing Hospital feeling the effects of medication shortage
6 months, 2 weeks ago
Pharmacy staff researching ways to meet long-term patient needs
A nationwide shortage of prescription drugs is growing and Blessing Hospital is feeling it.
The American Society of Health System Pharmacists has 261 medications on its shortage list this week. Blessing Hospital Pharmacy staff reviews this list daily to assess the impact on the hospital and determine how to address the needs.
Adding to the shortage situation, in late October the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) shut down a second major national drug compounding company that supplies medications to thousands of hospitals across the country. There have been no reports of injury from the products of Ameridose, however, the FDA shut down the company while improvements are made in its sterility testing processes.
“This closure further reduces the supply of medications available and places more demand on the remaining suppliers,” said Bob Miller, RPh, director, Blessing Hospital Pharmacy. “Hospitals across the country are trying to get medications from a smaller number of suppliers.”
Compounding companies purchase drugs from pharmaceutical companies in bulk sizes and, under the approval of the FDA, formulate the medications into products that may not be readily available or into smaller ready-to-use sizes more suited to particular patient needs.
The Blessing Hospital Pharmacy staff is researching ways to meet patient compounded medication needs in the long term. In the meantime, the Blessing Pharmacy staff will compound medications on-site to meet patient needs.
“We can do the same work as compounding companies, but we normally don’t because there is more waste when mixing medications for the patients of one hospital when compared to mixing medications for thousands of hospitals as national firms do and the medications we mix on-site have a shorter shelf life than those from national companies,” Miller stated.
“This may not be the preferred process due to the potential for waste,” said Maureen Kahn, president/chief executive officer Blessing Hospital, about compounding drugs at the Hospital. “But, right now, it is the safest process for our patients in light of national drug shortages and while the search for long term answers continues.”
Blessing Hospital provided information for this report.