According to dozens of news reports, the FDA is worried that there could be shortages of some critical drugs produced in Puerto Rico. Reports from CNN, Forbes, USA Today and Modern Healthcare, among others, outline top global manufacturing facilities on the island, and report a list of about 40 drugs that are of concern, 13 of which are made only in Puerto Rico and for which there are no therapeutic substitutes. Puerto Rico is home to dozens of drug and device manufacturing facilities, including cancer drugs, immunosuppressants used by transplant patients and devices for diabetic patients, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said in a statement on Sept. 25.
The agency did not identify any specific medications that could be at risk of a shortfall, and as of this writing, it doesn’t appear the FDA has revealed the names of the 40 medicines that could soon be in short supply. Nor has the FDA identified the 13 medications that are only made in Puerto Rico, although Modern Healthcare specifically called out sodium chloride and dextrose manufacturing capacity issues could send a ripple effect through the US healthcare industry.
This commentary, which we posted back in July, is particularly relevant in light of these news stories and worth revisiting: Surviving Drug Shortages with Improved Inventory Management.
Hospital Pharmacists who manage shortage and recalls may soon be significantly challenged.
RFID Technology Can Help Better Manage Drug Shortages
Although not related to the potential shortages anticipated from the hurricane, one of our clients said it best:
“In light of the nationwide shortages for code meds, please be reminded to use the reporting with Intelliguard to assist with managing expirations for code tray meds. The system will alert you to meds pending expiration and will also allow you to replenish the trays with staggering med expirations so that you do not have a massive tray refill when one lot expires on the same day. If we can use meds between facilities to avoid wastage from expiring meds, that will help tremendously.”
Adopting RFID-enabled inventory management can be completed in a matter of weeks to ensure your facility is best prepared to optimize inventory, better handle shortages and prevent waste of what might be very limited supply. If you’d like to learn more, contact us for an assessment to see if RFID technology can assist in dealing with your critical inventory management issues.