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Medication Exchange and Sharing Network Program (MESNP) initiative to cope with drug shortages in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)

Authors AlAzmi A, AlRashidi F

Received 15 December 2018

Accepted for publication 6 June 2019

Published 9 July 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 115—121

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S198375

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kent Rondeau


Aeshah AlAzmi,1 Faris AlRashidi2

1Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs (MNGHA), King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC 6255), Pharmaceutical Care Services Department, Clinical Pharmacy Section, Jeddah 21423, Saudi Arabia; 2King Fahad Specialist Hospital (KFSH), Pharmaceutical Care Services Department, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Background: Drug shortages are a major public health concern and remain a persistent problem worldwide. At present, there are no unified existing strategies for managing medicine stocks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Here, the aim is to describe our experience with creating a non-profit voluntary national Medication Exchange and Sharing Network Program (MESNP) throughout the KSA.
Methods: A quality improvement process map method was used in this project. The baseline evaluation included a review of possible reasons and strategies for managing medication shortages and recognizing potential associated safety issues. To that end, at the national level, we developed MESNP as a novel project to cope with medication shortages using Telegram social media as the preferred program for connecting with the member institution.
Results: A total of 500 requests were received over one year. Three hundred and fifteen (315) constituted requests for drug supplies due to shortages while the number of reports indicating the availability of overstock drug for re-distribution is (185). Almost 98% of overstocking drug reports was re-distributed in which it covers 75% of drug shortage requests.
Conclusion: This novel project aims to use our current resources by facilitating the medication exchange and sharing between the organizations at national level. The optimistic goal is to proactively mitigate drug wastages and prevent drug shortages toward better patient care.

Keywords: medication exchange, sharing project, drug shortages

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