About this Research Topic
Problems with drug shortages have been widely reported by healthcare professionals and patients over the last few years and acknowledged by the European Medicines Agency, the European Commission and other organizations. A variety of definitions for ‘drug shortages’ have been adopted by the former organizations, depending on the factors that contribute to disruptions in the availability of drug products.
Several studies in the US have indicated that the majority of drug shortages cover older, generic sterile injectable drugs used in anesthetics, emergency care, cancer treatment, and intravenous nutrition. Recently, several therapeutic drug classes have been affected by drug shortages, worldwide. Causes range from production disruptions, natural disasters, discontinuations up to difficulties created by various legislations, trade and pricing frameworks.
Health care providers need to choose for suboptimal treatments or need to take many efforts to find (often more expensive) foreign alternatives. They require access to reliable and up-to-date information about the unavailability of medicines in order that they can treat the patients in the best possible way. Nevertheless, the impact on patients lives and economic impacts may be substantial. But not only patients are affected, all actors in the supply chain experience negative consequences during drug supply problems, especially inter alia pharmacists who spend a lot of time searching for alternative drugs.
Transparent communication between all the different stakeholders is necessary.
This Research Topic invites authors to provide contributions to this very important topic of drug shortages. Interesting themes for articles include risk assessment strategies for medicines shortages in particular countries, legal frameworks addressing drug shortages, positions on reporting and communicating drug shortages to stakeholders, case studies of drug shortages based on retrospective or prospective research, drug shortage management strategies and other. We are also interested in papers addressing inventory management systems relevant for the pharmaceutical supply chain, ways for verification of drugs, strategies to address disturbances of drug supply and the link of drug shortages and regulatory assessments or health technology assessments.
Keywords: drug shortages, medicine shortages, availability of drugs, drug supply issues, shortages of drugs
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.