Drug shortages occur on pharmaceutical markets in almost all countries around the world. They have increased over the last decade, raising legitimate concerns among patients, medical staff and healthcare administrators, as well as the interest of researchers. Attempts are being made to better understand drug shortages and to find remedies. On 25 January 2018, a working group on investigating the multilateral effects of drug shortages in pharmaceutical markets (Working Group 5 – Measuring the impact of shortages on outcomes) met at the Didactic and Congress Centre of the Faculty of Medicine of the Jagiellonian University – Collegium Medicum in Krakow.
The meeting was organized by Tomasz Bochenek MD, PhD, member of the Management Committee of the research network COST CA15105. It was attended by 27 participants (scientific researchers, pharmacists from hospital and public pharmacies, physicians, drug distributors, and students involved in research within area of drug shortages). They represented 13 countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Vietnam). The meeting was opened by Christoph Sowada MSc, PhD, ScD, Director of the Institute of Public Health and Helena Jenzer PharmD, PhD, Hospital Pharmacist FPH from Switzerland, Chair of the Management Committee of COST CA15105. The Jagiellonian University – Collegium Medicum (JU-CM) was represented also by: Agnieszka Skowron MPharm, PhD, ScD, Deputy Dean of the JU-CM Faculty of Pharmacy and Head of the Department of Social Pharmacy, Berenika Kuna, Celia Rothe and Phung Hoang Truong, the students of public health within Polish and English language (EUROPUBHEALTH) programs. The organisation of the meeting was made possible by the European Union funding under the COST Action CA 15105, European Medicines Shortages Research Network – addressing supply problems to patients (Medicines Shortages), supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). For more information on the drug shortages research network, see: http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/ca/CA15105.