Commentary: Anesthesiologists Should Take Active Role in Drug Safety, Shortages

Shortages of drugs used before, during and after surgery pose a risk to patient safety, and Gildasio S. De Oliveira Jr., MD, Luke S. Theilken, MD, and Robert J. McCarthy, PharmD, urge anesthesiologists to take an active role to prevent adverse effects in an article in the December issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

Dr. De Oliveira and colleagues found the shortages of propofol, a drug that is widely used not only for anesthesia but also as a sedative, and naloxone, an essential drug for managing an overdose of morphine-like drugs, can result in complications for patients. They also found shortages for medications used to paralyze patients during surgery and the drugs used to reverse muscle paralysis.

In the article, Dr. De Oliveira and colleagues wrote anesthesiologists need to take the lead in dealing with drug shortages and that "proactive measures must be taken to identify, resolve, and possibly prevent a medication shortage before patient care and safety are jeopardized."

Articles Related to Drug Shortages:
AMA Adopts New Policy for Drug Shortages
Severe Drug Shortages More Limited Than Previously Thought
Obama Orders FDA to Act on Drug Shortages

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