The IFP calls on for the establishment of a system such as a mobile phone application to identify current drug shortages, resolved shortages or discontinuations of drug products, after the reports of ARV shortages in KwaZulu-Natal.
"It is disheartening to note that a tremendous number of drugs that are used to treat life threatening infections are not available. This is a crisis and there will be significant implications for patient care that likely to become more significant unless we take steps to mitigate against them.
In response to drug shortages, we recommend that existing health systems act rapidly to identify and obtain the drug, or the alternative product, to avoid disruptions in patient care and to provide uninterrupted, therapeutically equivalent, safe drug therapy, preferably at comparable costs. Criteria for patient prioritisation during a drug shortage should be developed by a multidisciplinary team involving pharmacy, medical, and nursing staff. All patients whose treatment depends on an unavailable drug product and/or alternative therapies should be identified," said IFP Spokesperson on Health, Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL.
"Several measures can help limit the impact of drug shortages on patients care.
Mandatory earlier reporting of shortages by manufacturers will make this information more readily available, allowing more time to make contingency plans. Similarly, there must be improved communication between pharmacists and clinicians so physicians are aware of shortages earlier-before they attempt to prescribe a drug that is not available.
Although it is impossible to predict or prepare for every drug shortage, careful planning can prevent the consequent problems from turning into a crisis," concluded Mrs Nkwanyana.
Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL,
IFP Spokesperson on Health, 078 302 3991
For Media Enquiries:
IFP KZN Provincial Legislature Media Liaison Officer,
Mr Phendulani Biyase, 073 024 5675