Medicines availability in the new year started very much as it ended in 2022. News outlets across Europe have reported the increase in respiratory infections, in particular in children, leading to shortages of vital treatment options, including antibiotics. At the same time, healthcare professionals, patient representatives and notified bodies were ringing the alarm bells due to increasing concerns about medical device shortages.
Five years have passed since the last comprehensive investigation by the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) into the problem of medicine shortages. Since new data is vital — especially ahead of the upcoming revision of the general pharmaceutical legislation — EAHP has decided to launch a new Shortage Survey, this time looking at both the shortage of medicines and medical devices in the hospital environment.
The 2023 Shortage Survey, focused on medicinal products and medical devices, seeks to investigate the reasons and impacts of shortages on patients in European hospitals, as well as possible solutions. Besides hospital pharmacists, EAHP’s Survey targets other healthcare professionals working in hospitals, like nurses and physicians, as well as patients and their carers who have experienced medicine shortages during their hospital stay.
EAHP has been advocating on the issue of medicines shortages for more than a decade, said the Association. Five surveys were conducted by EAHP in 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019 and 2020, with the last one focusing also on the pandemic preparedness of pharmacists. The results of these surveys have provided an overview of the severity of the problem, as well as its impact on overall patient care.
Healthcare professionals and patients impacted by a medicine shortage during their treatment in a hospital are invited to provide feedback until 30 April 2023. The survey can be accessed at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/EAHP2023ShortageSurvey.