US Pharm. 2012;37(3):11.

Alexandria, VA—Community pharmacists and their patients are increasingly affected by drug shortages, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). A recent NCPA survey of 675 community pharmacists found that shortages result in the inability to fill prescriptions, higher acquisition costs, and lack of insurance coverage for alternative drugs, all of which may cause the patient to go without necessary medications. Nearly all respondents experienced a drug shortage in the past 6 months, in many cases daily or weekly, and 80% said that the shortages last, on average, 3 weeks or longer. About 80% of respondents said that price fluctuations resulted in higher acquisition costs, and about 60% stated that health plan/pharmacy benefit manager reimbursements were not updated to reflect increased costs.

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