Management of stock shortages
Stock shortages will occur periodically due to outside factors and can cause anxiety and may impact on patient care.
Please note the guidance ‘A guide to managing medicines supply and shortages1’ from the Department of Health and Social Care with NHS England and NHS Improvement for both primary and secondary care. This document outlines the national, regional and local management and communication routes for medicines supply issues to ensure continuity of supply and ensure that patients receive the treatment and medication required. These are followed in BNSSG.
In summary, when a medicine is unavailable:
Where possible an alternate drug from the formulary should be used.
Where there is no alternate drug on the formulary a non-formulary option may be considered in discussion between primary and secondary care.
Once the stock shortage has resolved the formulary drug should be reinstated.
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) produces a monthly update of shortages for primary and secondary care, this can be found on the Specialist Pharmacy Service (SPS) website.
- Document Title: A Guide to Managing Medicines Supply and Shortages. Publishing approval number: 000920. November 2019