Pharmacy Professionals Believe CMS Rules Contribute to Drug Shortages

Almost all surveyed pharmacy professionals believe outdated federal mandates requiring adherence to drug labels and expiration dates contribute to the national drug shortage, according to an American Medical News report.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices surveyed 715 hospital-based pharmacists and pharmacy managers. Results from those surveys reveal 96 percent of respondents believe a CMS mandate to follow FDA-approved drug labels and expiration dates exacerbate the drug shortage. The respondents reported current medical research suggests some drugs may have a longer shelf life, according to the report.


For instance, neuromuscular blocker succinylcholine is labeled as stable drugs for 14 days at room temperature. However, research shows the drug may be stable for 30 days at room temperature, and its shelf life extends as room temperature drops, according to the report.

More than a third of respondents (36 percent) also said following the FDA's labels often results in wasted drugs, while another 43 percent said following labels always results in wasted drugs. The ISMP has forwarded the survey results to CMS in hopes to discuss the federal mandate on drug labels.

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