Opioid Drug Shortage: Immediate Action Needed

August 27, 2018
Jai N. Patel, PharmD, BCOP

In an article posted in Healio HemOnc Today, “The frequency of drug shortages in the United States is rapidly increasing.”
“Hospitals are managing the shortages by switching to oral opioids, restricting injection opioid use, prioritizing patients according to clinical need, and converting to nonopioid medications.” Continuing, “In the ASHP survey, nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated they were forced to convert patients to oral opioid medications, and more than half implemented restriction protocols on injectable opioids or prioritized patients based on clinical need,” writes Jai N. Patel, PharmD, BCOP.

Resultingly, the risk of mistakes increases as pharmacists work longer hours to find alternatives, and as nurses are asked to administer second-choice drugs or deliver standard drugs differently.

Clinicians are discovering alternate strategies to manage the injectable opioid shortage.

Dr. Wendy Schmitz, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, says, “Based on my experience on our hospice inpatient unit, the Macy Catheter is faster than subcutaneous in controlling pain with opioids and I am able to control pain with less opioid dose adjustments. It is also very effective in most instances in quickly controlling terminal agitation and other symptoms. It saves nursing time and decreases medication cost and waste. I will never go back to my prior practice and will continue using the Macy Catheter.”

Patented and FDA cleared, the Macy Catheter gives access to the clinically proven rectal route of delivery when the oral route is compromised. Providing rapid administration of medication and fluids, it can be used in multiple settings, including hospice and palliative care, skilled nursing facilities, and the emergency department. The device improves patient care and nursing efficiency while decreasing the cost of care.

Jai N. Patel, PharmD, BCOP, Urgent action necessary to address opioid drug shortage. Accessed on August 27, 2018. Available here.

About Hospi Corporation
Hospi Corporation developed the Macy Catheter to provide the best alternative for rapid administration of medication and fluids. The Macy Catheter improves patient care and nursing efficiency while decreasing the cost of care. For more information, visit MacyCatheter.com.