Managing Drug Shortages is a Challenge for Health Care Workers, Here’s A Solution

Commissioner Clashes With Covered California Over Specialty DrugsThe nation’s health care system is regularly experiencing shortages of antibiotics, nutritional fluids and other kinds of commonly used prescription medications, forcing pharmacists, doctors and other health care workers to rethink treatment regimens or juggle inventory.

“Some of the most common antibiotics are the ones that are short, and that can result in people using a much stronger antibiotic than they need,” said pharmacist Erin Fox, the senior director of drug information and support services at University of Utah Health.

The shortages likely will come as a surprise to many patients, Fox said, and that’s because their health care team is doing their job, putting a plan in place to prevent any impact to their care. Yet the ongoing supply problems have so concerned Fox and other members of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists that the organization recently issued new guidelines on how to minimize the impact on daily health system operations. (read more)