MIMS launched the drug shortages tracker in April 2019 with around 40 products listed. With the help of information provided by drug manufacturers and healthcare professionals, the tracker has now grown to include over 100 products.
The tracker not only lists current shortages with expected resupply dates but also helps users quickly find alternatives to out-of-stock products by highlighting external guidance as well as relevant MIMS drug comparison tables.
MIMS is currently providing access to the shortages tracker for free to all healthcare professionals to help them save time and resources during this time of unprecedented strain on the NHS.
MIMS welcomes notification of confirmed or suspected shortages from healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies. A simple pop-up box has recently been added to the tracker allowing users to quickly submit information about shortages of any medicines not currently on the list. These leads are investigated by the MIMS team and added it to the list if confirmed, for the benefit of all those who use the tracker.
The MIMS team’s shortages investigations so far suggest that fears of widespread disruptions to drug supply chains as a result of COVID-19's impact in China and India have not yet been borne out; however, some products are seeing large spikes in demand as patients try to stockpile medicines or obtain prescriptions ‘just in case’.
Supply of inhalers has been particularly hard hit by this phenomenon, with one manufacturer telling MIMS it has seen a 50-fold increase in demand for one of its products.