Patients Perspectives on Medicines Shortages in Hospital Setting
Medicine shortages represent serious problem for the healthcare system leading to interference with patient care. Studies are mainly done in the USA and Canada which reported more side effects and longer hospitalization. In Europe research is mainly focused on opinions from stakeholders, community and hospital pharmacists and rarely on clinical impact or opinions from patients. Two of the biggest pan-European studies regarding medicine shortages impact on hospital pharmacists were done by European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) in 2014 and in 2018. They have found an increase in medicine shortages from 2014 to 2018. While in 2014, 86% in 2018 92% of hospital pharmacists reported that they had current problems with medicine shortages in terms of delivering the best care to patients and/or operating the hospital pharmacy. The most affected therapeutic areas were: infectious diseases, oncology, emergency medicine, cardiovascular medicine and anesthesia. It also reported negative impacts for patients which include: delayed care, cancellations of care, medication errors, suboptimal treatment/inferior efficacy, unnecessary experience by patients of side effects, deterioration in patients’ conditions and even death. Furthermore, patients’ perspectives on medicines shortages in hospital setting have not been well documented in the literature. Therefore, a qualitative study is ongoing in several European countries (Croatia, Serbia, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Greece, etc.) with the purpose of quantifying the effect of medicine shortages on patient outcomes. This study will help to be more acquainted with the patients’ complaints, wishes and needs. In addition, it will fill informational gaps from previous surveys regarding patients’ perspectives as well as gather contemporary data regarding these patient care issues.
I would like to acknowledge COST Action CA15105 European Medicines Shortages Research Network—addressing supply problems to patients (Medicines Shortages), Prof. Helena Jenzer—BFH Bern University of Applied Sciences, Dr. Roberto Frontini—Universitatklinikum Leipzig, Prof. Isabelle Huys—Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy KU Leueven, Elfi de Weerdt, and Working Group Leader Dr. Nenad Miljković—M.Pharm., MPH, Institute of Orthopaedic Surgery “Banjica”, Serbia. Prof. João Luís de Miranda, Departamento de Tecnologias, Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão, Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre, Portalegre, Portugal.
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