Drug Shortages: are they with us Forever?

Drug shortages have become such a persistent problem that the FDA has released smartphone apps to keep you up on the latest shortages. The Apple iOS version works on both iPhone and iPad and is available here. Or, in iTunes just search for "DrugShortages." There is also an Android app that works on Android 2.3.3 and higher and is available here.

The current drug shortage list on the FDA website is amazingly long and at the time of this post included 19 drugs of direct interest to anesthesia by my count, including ephedrine, fentanyl, and ketorolac (Torodol). If your OR pharmacy hasn't done so already, you might consider asking them to post a list of drugs that are in shortage at your location. Buying groups and pharmacy acquisition procedures can result in shortages hitting different areas and different hospitals at different times.

Michael A. Fiedler, PhD, CRNA