Drug Shortages and Its Effects on Service Delivery among Key Informants (KIs) in Fiji

  •  Asaeli Raikabakaba    
  •  Masoud Mohammadnezhad    
  •  Ledua Tamani    
  •  Devina Gaundan    


BACKGROUND: Drug shortage is a global problem that adds extra burden to health systems with additional costs and posing risks to patients who fail to receive the medicines they need. Aim This study aimed to describe drug shortage and its effects on service delivery among Key Informants (KIs) in Fiji.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this quantitative cross-sectional study, the information on drug shortage per month was collected through the stock status report and pharmacy records of the main referral hospital in Fiji, the Colonial War Memorial hospital (CWMH) from 1st June to 30th November 2015. Purposive sampling was applied to reach 50 KIs who met the study crietria. A pilot tested structured questionniare was used to collect data and descriptive statistic was used to analyze data.

RESULTS: The results showed the most frequent out of stock items were antibiotics (49) followed by vitamins (18) and antihypertensive (17). The frequency of total drugs on shortage ranged from 29 to 50 items per month with an average rate 10% (n=40) drug shortages per month. Additinally, 98% (n=49) of the KIs indicated that drug shortage increased workload of staff and 90% (n=45) indicated that the standard treatment was deviated or alternatives were sought due to shortage of drugs.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study revealed that drug shortage was experienced in CWMH during the study period and had an impact on the clinical service delivery. There is a needed to focus on the use, selection, procurement and storage and distribution of medicines at CWMH.

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