Drug Shortages in Oncology
Drug shortages are an often unpredictable challenge that can be a result of multiple issues along the supply chain. Oncology drugs, including both chemotherapeutics and supportive care medications, are often affected. Oncology drug shortages can result in delayed chemotherapy treatments, changes in dosing, use of alternative regimens, or even missed doses, if one or more drugs required as part of a treatment regimen is not available.
To prepare for shortages, it is vital for health-systems, providers, and payers to stay up to date using both the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP’s) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) drug shortage lists. Payers should be aware of shortages of drugs that are included in prior authorization (PA) or step therapy programs in order to be able to select and cover an alternative when needed. Having a well-defined plan for managing drug shortages in the oncology setting is crucial to prevent delays in therapy and maximize drug availability.
The report tackles how health-systems, providers, and payers can develop strategic plans for managing drug shortages to prevent delays in therapy and maximize drug availability.