Alert service for medicines shortages

Pharmacists and prescribers can sign up to an alert service to receive email or RSS feed notifications of new and updated information on drug shortages through the new Medicine Shortages Information website.

The website is being managed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to provide information to consumers and health professionals on anticipated shortages of certain medicines as well as products that are being discontinued.

Current prescription medicine shortages are displayed by default but it also includes several search functions to sort by active ingredient, brand name and therapeutic class.

Clicking on an active ingredient opens a new web page with a detailed view on the medicine selected and other medicines with the same active ingredient whether they are anticipated, current, resolved, or have been discontinued.

The information on the website is gathered by the TGA from drug companies, and the site has been developed in association with Medicines Australia and the Generic Medicines Industry Association. Only those medicines listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods are included.

The TGA says the predicted shortage start and end dates are included on the website as soon as the information is received from the sponsor. In the majority of cases, it says, this will be all that is required to help health professionals and consumers during a shortage period.

The information available on the website for each medicine shortage includes sponsor name and contact details; the active ingredient and trade name, strength, dose form and ARTG number, a drop-down menu providing the reason for the shortage; the estimated duration of the shortage and the shortage type; and information about substitute medicines or therapeutic alternatives as appropriate.

Posted in Allied Health

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