6 pressing drug shortages, per pharmacy technicians

More than 9 in 10 pharmacy technicians are experiencing workflow challenges and about 45 percent said they're unable to administer prescriptions because of drug shortages, according to a recent survey

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board surveyed 74 certified pharmacy technicians in August about which drug shortages are affecting their work. Sixty-two percent of the respondents work in health systems, 14 percent in community pharmacies and 24 percent in other settings. 

Pharmacy techs pointed to shortages of drugs for cancer, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, weight loss and diabetes — such as Mounjaro, Ozempic and Wegovy — and local anesthetics. 

The six most pressing supply issues among pharmacy technicians:

1. Adderall, an ADHD drug. 

2. Bupivacaine, a local anesthetic. 

3. Carboplatin, a drug that treats cancer of the lung, bladder, breast, head and neck, cervix, ovaries, testicles, uterus, kidney, brain and eyes. 

4. Cisplatin, a chemotherapy for bladder, ovarian, testicular, head and neck, lung, cervix, esophagus and brain cancer. It is also used for malignant pleural mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the chest or abdomen, and neuroblastoma, a cancer that begins in nerve cells. 

5. Fluorouracil/5FU, a medication for colon cancer, rectal cancer, breast cancer, pancreas and stomach cancer, cervix and esophagus cancer, head and neck cancer, ovarian cancer and renal cell cancer. 

6. Lidocaine, a local anesthetic.

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