Growing drug shortage hits the Tri-States

The American Society of Health System Pharmacists has 261 medications on its shortage list this week.

The American Society of Health System Pharmacists has 261 medications on its shortage list this week according to a news release issued by Quincy's Blessing Hospital Friday. Blessing Hospital Pharmacy staff reviews this list daily to assess the impact on the hospital and determine how to address the needs.

"While we feel it, it may change the sources we purchase our medications from, we may buy different sizes, things like that. We're not feeling the pinch to any point that it's affecting patient care," David Loyd, Administrative Director of Ancillary Services at Blessing said.

The impact is growing as the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) shut down a second major national drug compounding company, Ameridose, 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.

â??This closure further reduces the supply of medications available and places more demand on the remaining suppliers,â?? Bob Miller, RPh, director, Blessing Hospital Pharmacy said. â??Hospitals across the country are trying to get medications from a smaller number of suppliers.â??

According to the news release, 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.

â??This may not be the preferred process due to the potential for waste,â?? Maureen Kahn, president/chief executive officer Blessing Hospital said, about compounding drugs at the Hospital. â??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.â??

The changes Tri-State residents will likely see from the shortage will be comparable to brand or product shortages at a big box store. "If they're unable to get it you see a different product on the shelf. You may see a different brand name or something like that and as consumers we don't notice it that much. Being in the hospital purchasing group and the distributor for our hospitalized patients, we're aware of it," Loyd said.