Problems & solutions
Medicines shortages in the Ministry of Health hospitals in Jordan:
Jordan is an upper middleincome country with a percapita GNI of $ 4,340. Drug shortages are a persistant matter and are considered a global problem. Medicine shortage is defined as a supply issue that affects how the pharmacy department prepares or dispenses a product or affects patient care when prescribers must choose an alternative treatment because of supply problems.
A study was conducted by Q. Alefan, K Tashman, T Mukattash and S Azzam of Jordan University of Science & Technology, Clinical Pharmacy, Irbid, Jordan. The purpose of this paper, according to the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, is to determine the magnitude of the medicines shortage problem in Jordan and to assess its impact on patient outcomes and on healthcare practice. A questionnaire was administered to physicians and pharmacists in Ministry of Health (MOH) main hospitals in all twelve Jordanian governorates and main MOH drug stores. Data were collected in July & August 2013. Results showed that 357 respondents completed the survey, yielding a response rate of 66.4%. About 54% of respondents had had trouble locating medicines during their last week of practice, rising to 56% during the last six months. Pharmacists spent more time dealing with drug shortages than did physicians. More than 70% of respondents were not satisfied with the resources available for notifications about a shortage in certain drugs. Their responses also showed that patient outcomes and providers’ practice were being affected by the shortage of medicines. The survey concluded that hospital doctors and pharmacists revealed that the time required to manage drug shortages is noteworthy and that the impact of medicine shortages on their practice and patients’ health outcomes is real and significant.
Source: European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy