ASHP releases revised drug shortage guidelines: 4 important details to know

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists released new guidelines for responding to drug shortages, as well as best practices to improve quality of patient care.

Here is an overview of the new guidelines:

1. Planning. An organization can best respond to a drug shortage when it has the necessary infrastructure and a management strategy in place before one occurs. Having a drug product shortage team to tackle shortages as they arise as well as a designated person to lead shortage efforts is beneficial as well.

2. Resource allocation committees. Committees should be formed to oversee the allocation of scarce drug product resources.

3. Alternative therapy approval. A formal process for approving therapeutic alternatives during drug shortages should be in place. The ASHP recommended following the same steps for changing any drug product in their system to ensure steps in managing automation and technology aren't overlooked.

4. Final action plan. Healthcare organizations should develop a final action plan that can be revised to fit different situations and ensure everyone on the team understands their roles during a shortage.

Click here to read the guidelines in full.

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