In a recent survey conducted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), around 96% of certified pharmacy technicians reported experiencing drug shortages in their pharmacies. The survey highlighted a significant impact on various medications, with chemotherapy drugs, ADHD medications, weight loss and diabetes drugs, and local anesthetics being among those most affected.

Of the respondents, 72% stated that these shortages had a substantial impact on their daily workflow, with one individual expressing concerns about the effects on patient care and staffing. Approximately 35% of pharmacy technicians reported spending more than five instances a day addressing drug shortage issues instead of regular pharmacy duties.

When faced with shortages, around 90% of those surveyed recommended alternative drugs, but in 45% of cases, they were unable to fill the prescription with an alternative. Some pharmacy technicians resorted to utilizing compounding services within their pharmacy or referring patients to another compounding pharmacy when alternatives were not available.

The survey also revealed proactive measures taken by pharmacy technicians, such as running weekly shortage calls to address ongoing issues. William Schimmel, CEO of PTCB, praised the collaborative efforts of pharmacy technicians in mitigating drug shortages, noting that some even reached out to drug representatives to find medications for their patients.

The shortage of chemotherapy drugs has had significant consequences in the oncology space, leading to treatment providers stretching out time between treatments, rationing vials, and making adjustments to treatment regimens. Moreover, the shortage of ADHD medication, Adderall, resulted in increased demand for other formulations, causing shortages for medications like Ritalin and Concerta.

Despite the current prominence of drug shortages, pharmacy professionals, especially pharmacy technicians, are urged to explore all available options to ensure the continuity of treatment for affected patients. The survey underscores the vital role played by pharmacy technicians in identifying and managing drug shortages to support patient care.


Full article from Pharmacy Times here.

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