Tackling Low Medication Supplies
and Disruptions in the Supply Chain
Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
By having better policies and information-sharing, institutions and professionals will be better equipped to create initiatives and/or safeguards that target the most pressing issues.
Reevaluate regulations and advocate to create policies
Evaluate the current policies and regulations that are affecting the supply chain. Join the conversation and advocate to reduce barriers and improve access.
Be a part of information sharing – from tracking, reporting, and surveillance
Evaluate whether the existing systems are set up to document the impact of shortages and policy changes on patient outcomes and health systems. Each institution should be able to summarize how health facility elements interrelate to ensure patients receive the necessary medications during various stages of care.
If possible, institutions should begin to set up the infrastructure to monitor and quantify the following:
Data generated will assist institutions in identifying frameworks, processes, and resources to appropriately and effectively manage drug shortages or any disruption at their institution and improve the patient experience. By having this information, institutions and professionals will be better equipped to create initiatives and/or safeguards that target the most pressing issues. As efforts are being made to increase access to care, all stakeholders need to work to ensure all elements of access are addressed, particularly the element of accessing medications. The emphasis on understanding barriers and processes in accessing medications and managing drug shortages will also allow for improved quality, reduced cost, improved safety, and better health outcomes.
Early detection, predictions, or projections of disruptions in supply chains are critical. Agencies, such as the FDA, have called for improved data sharing and are requiring more accurate supply chain information to accelerate more precise and timely monitoring and assist with identifying disruptions in the supply chain that could lead to shortages.(1)
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1. United States Food and Drug Administration. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supply Chain Update. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-supply-chain-update