REMAC Pharmaceutical Letter

June 10, 2010

Regional Emergency Medical Advisory Committee Chairperson

Re: Shortage of Pharmaceuticals

Dear Chairs:

The Department has been contacted by several agencies that are experiencing severe difficulty with restocking their pharmaceutical supplies. Hospira Inc. is a sole source manufacturer for many of the medications routinely used by the EMS system. According to the FDA Current Drug Shortage web page (see resources below), this is due to increased demand and most are predicted to be resupplied throughout June or July.

Since Hospira, Inc. is a sole source manufacturer, all vendors may have their stock severely impacted and on back order for a new supply. This impacts the entire healthcare community.

The Department is strongly recommending that you monitor this issue within your respective Regional Emergency Medical Advisory Committee (REMAC) and consider developing alternative plans in the event that supplies become critically low or exhausted.

FDA web page listing current drug shortages: www/fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugShortages/ucm050792.htm

Planning considerations:

  1. Compare your formulary with the FDA list to determine what effect this may have with your protocols and patient care.
  2. If EMS Agencies within your region routinely resupply medications used during patient care from the destination hospital, survey your regional hospitals to determine if resupplying medications will be affected.
  3. Identify and consider temporarily replacing affected medications with alternative medications or therapies that are readily available.
  4. If a regional formulary change is required, submit a letter to the Bureau of EMS with the changes requested for emergent review and consideration.

Sincerely,

Lee Burns
Acting Director
Bureau of Emergency Medical Services