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Strategies Institutions Can Take to Obtain Antimicrobials on Shortage


Milena McLaughlin, PharmD, MSc, Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice, Midwestern University and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, explains different strategies institutions can take to obtain antimicrobials that are on shortage.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“[When it comes to the question of how] institutions can obtain medications on shortage, unfortunately there’s not a great answer for this, because the medication itself is on shortage. However, depending on the manufacturer, they may have a compassionate use program. There were some antibiotics for which if you had a patient that really needed the medication, and it was the drug of choice, you could present that patient to the manufacturer, and they would send you a course of medication. Of course, if it was a weight-based drug, you’d have to let them know those things so that they could send you the appropriate amount of medication. Then, if there was another way to get the medication through the manufacturer, they may be doing allocation, so, you need to take all that into account.

Unfortunately, sometimes if the medication is backordered, and they’re just not sending out any medication, you really just have to properly manage the inventory that you have. Some institutions will have a co-op with local institutions just to make sure that if they don’t have the medication, and you don’t have the medication, that it’s not as though 1 institution just has a stockpile of medication. In that case, you may just have patients being transferred all over the place, which may lead to other errors occurring, and so, if you have an area that has medication, you want to make sure that all the institutions are really working together to make sure that the patients are taken care of.”
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