The majority of US hospitals have delayed live-saving treatment as a result of a widespread drug shortage, a survey conducted by the American Hospital Association has revealed.
In the past six months 82% of 802 hospitals surveyed by the American Hospital Association reported that they were forced to delay treatment, while three quarters hospitals rationing or placing restrictions on drugs that are in short supply.
Over 60% of hospitals reported that they are rarely informed of the cause of the drug shortage, and 45% of medical staff expressed their frustration with the pharmacist as a result of the deficiency.
American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock said, “The number of drugs in short supply is increasing at an alarming rate and hospitals are working diligently to reduce the impact to the patients they care for.
“Clinicians need more notice about drug shortages so they have time to act to ensure that patient care is not disrupted,” added Umbdenstock.
Nearly half of CEOs representing their hospitals revealed they were running out of 21 drugs or more.
Meanwhile 92% of hospitals said that the cost of drugs is increasing as the supply of drugs dwindle, and a separate survey by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists found that labour costs and time required to cope with the shortage translates to annual impact of $216m nationally.