Drug Shortages

Drug Shortages

This actionable evidence-based practice blueprint provides a checklist for clinicians to create an action plan to prevent drug shortages and ensure best patient care. This document is revised as needed to incorporate the latest best practices and gold standard of care. The e-book is available free of charge to anyone. © 2020 Patient Safety Movement Foundation.



The Challenge

A drug shortage is a situation in which the total supply of all clinically interchangeable versions of a drug are too low to meet the current or projected demand for use. Studies show drug shortages are a growing problem worldwide, impacting all therapeutic classes, while having an adverse effect on patient outcomes and healthcare costs. Hospitals generally lack a standardized methodology to assess the incidence and prevalence, causes, predictors, and effects of drug shortages, and once a shortage happens, mitigation strategies are difficult, costly, and fail to address the health and economic effects. Recent shortage outbreaks justify the need for prevention. Healthcare systems can help prevent drug shortages and their adverse outcomes by following the actionable steps outlined in this blueprint.