A mail survey to assess the incidence and impact of drug shortages within Texas Non - Government Acute Care Hospitals
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A Mail Survey to Assess the Incidence and Impact of Drug Shortages within Texas Non – Government Acute Care Hospitals Tawfik Rajab Rajab, M.S.Phr. The University of Texas at Austin, 2013 Supervisor: Marvin D. Shepherd The objective of this study was to explore the incidence and impact of drug shortages within Texas Non-Government Acute Care Hospitals. A self-administered mail survey instrument was used to collect data. A convenience sample of 321 pharmacy directors of non-government acute care hospitals in the state of Texas was selected from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Hospital List for 2012. A total of 125 completed surveys were received by mail and 8 surveys were returned as undelivered, resulting in a response rate of 39.84% (125/313). A total of 56 (45.5%) respondents reported 11 or more drug shortages for the month of April 2013. There was a significant association between the number of drug shortages experienced and hospital size (p = 0.003), inpatient medication budget (p = 0.001) and hospital location (p=0.015). Of the 124 respondents, 78 (62.9%) spent four to 12 hours a week on managing drug shortage situations. There was a significant association between the number of hours spent per week by hospital pharmacy personnel when managing drug shortages controlling for hospital size (p < 0.001), number of drug shortages experienced (p < 0.001), number of pharmacist FTEs (p < 0.001), and number of pharmacy technician FTEs (p < 0.001). A total of 107 (85.6%) reported that grey market vendors have contacted hospital pharmacy personnel in the month of April, 2013. A total of 96 (76.8%) ‘strongly agreed’ that grey market vendors are more likely to contact health care facility when drug shortage exists, 110 (88%) ‘strongly agreed’ that grey market vendors sell drugs in short supply at inflated prices and 70 (56%) ‘strongly agreed’ that the practice of buying drug products from grey market vendors should be eliminated. In summary, all surveyed hospitals experienced at least one drug shortage for the month of April 2013, pharmacy personnel devoted a significant amount of time managing drug shortages and the majority of the hospitals were contacted by grey market vendors with the aim of selling drugs in short supply.