• Fact Sheet
  • September 24, 2020

The Effects of Drug Shortages on Children's Hospitals and Their Patients

Children's hospitals have long dealt with shortages of critical drugs that patients rely on for treatment and recovery. Research by the Children's Hospital Association (CHA) and Vizient finds children's hospitals are disproportionately impacted by drug shortages, compared to the 300-plus other hospitals in the Vizient group purchasing organization.

To respond to these shortages, children's hospitals work continuously to prevent shortages by seeking additional manufacturing and distributing solutions, working with manufacturers to prioritize pediatric formulations, and frequently monitoring the market for changes. However, more is needed to ensure shortages are reduced. To better support patient care delivery in children's hospitals, there are actions that supply chain professionals, in partnership with lawmakers and regulators, must swiftly take:

  • Ensure additional transparency within the supply chain including the location of production. The absence
    of this information hinders proactive steps to prevent and mitigate shortages—especially during natural
    disasters and other emergencies.
  • Expand the FDA drug shortages list to better account for pediatric populations and pediatric drug
    formulations.
  • Implement policies that reduce the risk of drug shortages by encouraging competition in development
    of pediatric products that are often sole sourced.