I vividly remember the excitement of starting my career as a community pharmacist, eager to help patients improve their quality of life and better understand and manage their medications. I soon realized, however, that managing drug shortages would become one of the most time-consuming challenges of our small pharmacy team’s daily routine.
While drug shortages are not new to pharmacists, recent shortages of essential medications such as Children's Tylenol and Amoxicillin have impacted a larger population and gained significant media coverage across Canada.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Shelita Dattani, Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs at the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada, for the Friendly Pharmacy 5 Channel.
Dr. Dattani explained that while drug shortages are not new, the problem has worsened in recent years due to various factors including disruptions in the global medication supply chain, manufacturing issues, increased demand, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the interview, Dr. Dattani outlined proactive strategies to prevent future medication shortages, such as enabling pharmacists across Canada to make therapeutic substitutions and enhancing communication amongst healthcare professionals about the underlying causes of drug shortages for more effective management of their impact.
We also discussed questions submitted by community pharmacists such as the impact of restrictions on generic drug pricing, how drug shortages in hospitals are often managed differently than in the community, and how our purchasing power as a smaller market impacts our ability to acquire medications.
Dr. Dattani emphasized that although medication shortages continue to pose significant challenges, it's crucial for healthcare professionals to stay informed, advocate for solutions, and work collaboratively to ensure that Canadians have access to the medications they need.
If you would like to access the full interview with Dr. Dattani, please click here or use the QR code below.
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