Supply chain issues and how a compounding pharmacy can help

Drug shortages in Australia increase by 300%

In their report released in December 2020, the Global Access Partners Institute for Integrated Economic Research Australia stated that the Australian market for pharmaceuticals is possibly one of the most vulnerable in the OECD, with Australia being at the end of a very long global supply chain.

The authors noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly highlighted this underlying issue and from March 2020, Australia’s supply of medicines had experienced unprecedented shortages.

Indeed, an analysis of drug shortages across the USA and Australia during pre-pandemic and pandemic times by authors Eliza Cameron and Mary Bushell found that between 2019 and 2020, the number of US drug shortages increased by 37%, while the number of Australian drug shortages increased by a whopping 300%.

Supply chains are complex and can be affected by geopolitical, environmental, economic, and infrastructure-related factors, not to mention pandemics. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a sustained disruption, impacting multiple geographic locations and has affected both the supply and demand for medicines.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) currently has close to 300 medicine shortages and over 60 anticipated shortages listed on their Medicines Shortages list. Of these, over 50 are considered critical medicine shortages or discontinuations.

For patients, particularly those who have been on a specific medication for some time, medicine shortages can be very distressing, alternatives may be unsatisfactory and may lead to increased out-of-pocket costs.

Compounding chemists have an important role to play when specific medications are in shortage, by compounding alternatives of their unavailable medicines and allowing patients to continue uninterrupted on their treatment plans.

National Custom Compounding has been helping Doctors and Pharmacists with unavailable medicine for over 10 years and during that time, we have successfully catered to the unique medical needs of over 24,901 satisfied patients.

And now we’re extending that help to include sterile injectable medication. Our new purpose-built, sterile injectable compounding facility at Merrimac will be completed by September and will allow us to supply an even greater range of compounded medication, in short time, to pharmacists and medical practitioners in South East Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Everything about National Custom Compounding – from our purpose-built facility, state-of-the-art equipment, and strict procedures – is designed to provide Doctors, Pharmacists, and their patients, with the highest possible quality custom-made medicines.

As a Doctor or Pharmacist, if you are having difficulties accessing a certain medication for your patients, please call us on 1300 731 755 or email us at: [email protected] and we may be able to help.

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To the Manager, I spoke to a lady in your office on Thursday who called to confirm my order. Unfortunately I did not hear her name properly. I asked her if she could expedite my order as I had run out that day and she said that she would do her best. To my overwhelming joy and surprise my vitamins arrived on Friday in Sydney when I was expecting it on Monday. This meant that I had my supplements over the weekend. Now I am reasonably sure that it took a concerted effort to make this happen. I therefore wanted to say a very big thank you to the lady I spoke to and all the people on your team that worked to make this happen. This is excellent customer service that is hard to find these days and wanted you and your team to know how much I appreciated it. Thank you again to you and your team.