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NCPA: Nearly all community pharmacies experiencing drug shortages

Ninety-eight percent of community pharmacies are experiencing drug shortages, according to a recent survey conducted by NCPA.
Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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A new survey of community pharmacists reveals that 98% are experiencing drug shortages, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association. 

Periodically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, NCPA has surveyed pharmacy owners and managers about staffing concerns, supply chain issues, inflation or other economic pressures. The latest survey, conducted from Oct. 19 to 31, focuses on drug shortages.

[Read more: NCPA survey: Three-quarters of community pharmacies report staff shortages]

  • Eighty-nine percent of survey respondents say they are currently experiencing a shortage of Adderall, which is commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity. This is a higher percentage than in a survey released in August, when 64% of respondents said they’d had trouble getting the medicine. 
  • Nearly 66% of respondents also report experiencing difficulty in getting the antibiotic amoxicillin. “The scary part is, we’re coming into the time of the year where you have the greatest need,” NCPA president Hugh Chancy, owner of Chancy Drugs in southern Georgia, recently told NBC News. The Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged “some intermittent supply interruptions” and has warned it is in short supply.

NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey, who sounded the alarm on supply chain problems at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, said those problems haven’t gone away.

“We’re heavily reliant on foreign countries, some of which can be adversarial, for many of our pharmaceuticals. And the supply chain issues that resulted from the pandemic have not been fully resolved,” Hoey said. “Community pharmacies are the last link in the supply chain, and the only one that deal with patients directly. If there’s a disruption anywhere between the manufacturer and the patient, it affects the entire healthcare system and community pharmacists are the ones helping patients figure out their options.”

[Read more: Looking forward: Executives size up the state of retail pharmacy in 2022]

This NCPA survey was sent to approximately 8,000 independent pharmacy owners and managers, with approximately 330 responding.