Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Anti-infective drug shortages pose threat to public health and patient care

Date:
January 23, 2012
Source:
Oxford University Press (OUP)
Summary:
Shortages of key drugs used to fight infections represent a public health emergency and can put patients at risk, according to a new review. Frequent anti-infective shortages can substantially alter clinical care and may lead to worse outcomes for patients, particularly as the development of new anti-infectives has slowed and the prevalence of multidrug-resistant pathogens is increasing.

Shortages of key drugs used to fight infections represent a public health emergency and can put patients at risk, according to a review published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available online. Frequent anti-infective shortages can substantially alter clinical care and may lead to worse outcomes for patients, particularly as the development of new anti-infectives has slowed and the prevalence of multidrug-resistant pathogens is increasing.

Related Articles


Of the 193 medications unavailable in the U.S. at the time of the analysis, 13 percent were anti-infective drugs, the authors found, led by Marc Scheetz, PharmD, and Milena Griffith, PharmD, from Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. "Anti-infectives often represent irreplaceable life-saving treatments," the authors noted, and hospitalized patients are particularly vulnerable in an era when such shortages often last months and are occurring more frequently.

First-line treatments for herpes encephalitis, neurosyphilis, tuberculosis, and enterococcal infections, among others, have been hit by shortages, forcing physicians to use other drugs that may not work as well, the authors found. For example, the current shortage of the intravenous form of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, a first-line treatment for Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia since the 1980s, may result in adverse outcomes for patients with severe disease.

Although the root cause of drug shortages can be hard to determine -- current U.S. law does not require manufacturers to disclose such details -- the authors point to several supply-side issues that play a role: procuring raw materials, processing, distributing, regulatory compliance, market shortages due to epidemics, new therapeutic indications, and perceived shortages.

Multidisciplinary stewardship programs that support the appropriate "selection, dosing, route of administration, and duration of antimicrobial therapy" can help front-line clinicians when a first-line anti-infective drug is in short supply, Scheetz said. Hospitals should also develop strategies that anticipate the impact and extent of drug shortages, as well as identify therapeutic alternatives that mitigate potential adverse outcomes.

Enhancing oversight by the Food and Drug Administration through congressional legislation may also be needed to identify and correct shortages of life-saving anti-infective drugs, conclude the authors, who describe recently introduced legislation on this topic. "Let your members of Congress know that addressing this issue is important for the proper care of patients," Scheetz said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oxford University Press (OUP). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. M. Griffith, A. E. Gross, S. H. Sutton, M. K. Bolon, J. S. Esterly, J. A. Patel, M. J. Postelnick, T. R. Zembower, M. H. Scheetz. The Impact of Anti-infective Drug Shortages on Hospitals in the United States: Trends and Causes. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2012; DOI: 10.1093/cid/cir954

Cite This Page:

Oxford University Press (OUP). "Anti-infective drug shortages pose threat to public health and patient care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120120182924.htm>.
Oxford University Press (OUP). (2012, January 23). Anti-infective drug shortages pose threat to public health and patient care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120120182924.htm
Oxford University Press (OUP). "Anti-infective drug shortages pose threat to public health and patient care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120120182924.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins