Objective: Drug shortage affects clinical operations and the quality of drug treatment. It is an important public health issue at present. This study retrospectively analyzed the reports of drug shortage in recent years for reference for clinical drug supply management.
Methods: Drug shortage reports announced on the website of Taiwan Food and Drug Administration’s Drug Supply Information Platform from March 2016 to October 2020 were recorded. Data regarding the shortage reasons, whether there are
alternatives, and the shortage drug categories, dosage forms, pharmacological, and therapeutic classifications were analyzed.
Results: A total of 210 cases of drug shortage during the study period, most of which have alternative drugs. The reasons for the shortage include raw material problems, manufacturing problems, discontinued production, supply problems, etc. The dosage forms of the shortage drugs are mainly oral preparation and injections, and the rest include topical, nasal, and ophthalmic preparations. The pharmacological classifications of shortage drugs are mainly systemic anti-infective drugs, cardiovascular system drugs, alimentary tract, and metabolism drugs, nervous system drugs, antineoplastic and immunomodulating agents, etc. The main therapeutic classifications are antihypertensives, antineoplastic agents, antidote, vaccines, antiallergic agents, antidiabetics, antiviral agents, etc.
Conclusions: Appropriate actions must be taken in time to establish a sustainable management strategy, including collection and notification of relevant information, decision-making, collaboration, and timely communication, so as to effectively and quickly respond to drug shortages, to reduce the impact of drug shortage on clinical operations, and to ensure the quality of clinical drug therapy and the rights of patients.
Summited for publication: 2020.11.11; Accepted for publication: 2021.1.4