Drug Shortages

Proven Solutions for Pharmacies to Overcome Drug Shortages

Learn about the causes of drug shortages, their impact and how systems like SureCost's Smarter Purchasing platform can help.

Danielle Dinglasan

Danielle Dinglasan

Product Marketing Manager at SureCost

In recent years, drug shortages have become a significant issue in the healthcare industry. Pharmacies around the world are facing challenges in sourcing and maintaining an adequate supply of medications for their patients. These shortages can have serious consequences, including delayed treatments, increased healthcare costs, and negative impacts on patient outcomes. In this blog post, we'll explore the root causes of drug shortages and how the right tech solutions help pharmacies overcome these challenges.

Causes of Drug Shortages

There are several factors contributing to drug shortages:

Manufacturing Issues: Problems with manufacturing, such as contamination, production delays, or quality control issues, can lead to shortages. Supply chain disruptions due to factory shutdowns or limited production capacity can also cause problems.

Regulatory Challenges: Strict regulations and compliance requirements can slow down the production and distribution of medications, leading to shortages.

Raw Material Shortages: A lack of raw materials, such as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), can hinder drug production and result in shortages.

Demand Fluctuations: Unexpected changes in demand, such as during a pandemic, can strain the supply of medications and result in shortages.

Distribution Issues: Inefficient distribution systems and logistical problems can hinder the timely delivery of medications to pharmacies and healthcare facilities.

The Impact of Drug Shortages on Pharmacies and Patients

Drug shortages have far-reaching consequences for both pharmacies and patients:

Increased Costs: Pharmacies may have to source medications from alternative suppliers at higher costs, impacting their bottom line.

Patient Care Disruptions: Patients may face delays in receiving essential medications, which can negatively impact their health outcomes.

Increased Workload: Pharmacy staff must spend additional time finding alternative sources for medications, managing inventory, and communicating with patients about potential delays.

How Pharmacies Can Overcome Drug Shortages

Replace guesswork with a unified purchasing and inventory system that centralizes all your vendor catalogs. Technologies like SureCost empower experienced buyers and pharmacy operators to quickly find and buy the right products at the right prices and quantities.

Avoid drug shortages by configuring the system to recommend alternatives based on price, compliance, and other important factors when your stock is low. Streamline ordering by placing all your vendor orders through one interface, including secondary vendors and service providers like GPOs.

With your purchasing and inventory data in one place, you can analyze trends, track usage, and make informed decisions for optimal inventory management. Set up auto-reorders to maintain stock and identify unreliable suppliers through robust order history data.

SureCost’s Smarter Purchasing technology integrates seamlessly with other pharmacy systems, such as accounting and management. Make purchasing decisions based on dispensing trends and automatically update your "on-hand" count. Ensure compliance with vendor agreements, GPO contracts, and rebate targets while managing DSCSA regulations.

Unifying purchasing and inventory with data-driven decisions helps mitigate the impact of drug shortages and keeps you competitive in a complex industry. Automated solutions identify savings opportunities and errors during purchasing and receiving.

A smart purchasing environment ensures you get the right products at the agreed-upon price and quantity. Seamless integration between purchasing, inventory, and accounts payable keeps your pharmacy running smoothly.

Pharmacies need to rely on automation now more than ever to stay competitive and profitable. Find a solution that best suits your business to ensure your patients can always find the medication they need in your pharmacy.

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