ASHP Calls for Action on Drug Shortages, Releases New Recommendations and Survey Findings

Dear Colleagues,

The number of active drug shortages in our country is nearing a 10-year high, according to ASHP’s Drug Shortages Resource Center.

Pharmacy professionals and other clinicians should be commended for their heroic efforts to provide safe and effective care when so many critical drugs are unavailable. Pharmacists struggle daily to identify alternative medications, manage the resulting treatment plan changes, and find solutions to get life-saving medications to patients. But that’s not sustainable, and the nation must act to alleviate this crisis.

A new ASHP survey of more than 1,000 members, released today, found that 99% of respondents are experiencing drug shortages, with 57% facing critical shortages of chemotherapy drugs that affect patient care.

About one-third (32%) of respondents characterize the current state of drug shortages as a "critically impactful" situation that requires treatments or procedures to be rationed, delayed, or canceled. Twice as many (63%) said shortages are "moderately impactful," meaning they are managed through operational strategies but still affect patient care.

ASHP has long been a trusted source of knowledge and information about drug shortages. We recently attended a White House-sponsored roundtable on shortages of generic chemotherapy drugs. ASHP also provided strong guidance on drug shortage strategies to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Senate Finance Committee, who asked for our input on the impact of shortages and how federal agencies can address the problem.

ASHP also recently released Policy Solutions to Address the Drug Shortage Crisis, which provides detailed recommendations for Congress and regulatory agencies about short- and long-term solutions to reduce drug shortages. The document builds on our previous recommendations within six core areas, including addressing the economic and quality conditions that have been identified as root causes of drug shortages.

ASHP continues to track drug shortages in collaboration with the University of Utah and to develop actionable strategies that minimize the impact of shortages on patient care. I invite you to listen to our recent webinar on drug shortage trends and management strategies. Please continue to visit our Drug Shortages webpage for real-time drug shortage updates. And bookmark the ASHP News Center for the latest coverage of drug shortage news and policy updates.

For our patients — and for the future of healthcare — policymakers and industry need to address the drug shortage crisis with urgency and action.

Thank you for all you do for our patients and our profession.



Posted on August 10, 2023