National drug shortage affecting chemotherapy medications

Dear Providence Oregon clinicians, 

Please read the update below, for the Providence family of organizations,  from Dr. Hoda Hsmar, Dr. Elie Bahou and Dr. David Kim.

If you have questions, or would like more information about the situation in Providence Oregon ministries, please reach out to pharmacy leader Jennifer Hissam.

Across the country, hospitals and care facilities, including those across the Providence family of organizations, are experiencing a shortage of roughly 300 drugs. 

Chemotherapy medications are particularly hard hit by this shortage, posing substantial challenges to the timely and effective administration of cancer treatment to patients in need. Delaying crucial care can compromise chances of remission and disease control.

Due to diminishing reserves, Providence ministries and partners are making the difficult decision to conserve and prioritize supply, re-evaluate treatment plans for some patients, and identify alternative therapeutics when possible. We are communicating with patients who may be affected by this shortage and working with them and our teams of experts to best address their unique health care needs. 

Providing safe, high-quality care is our number one priority. Using best practices developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Providence ministries and partners are exploring strategies to conserve and secure additional supply. Actions being taken include:

  • Bringing multi-disciplinary groups of clinical leaders together to identify and help scale mitigation plans, recommendations and the latest information across the organizations.
  • Closely monitoring and tracking supply to assess treatment needs and availability.
  • Working to acquire additional medications for our patients. 
  • Shifting resources between facilities as needs arise and supplies last.
  • Collaborating with other health care systems to collectively address these shortages and care for patients.
  • Advocating at the national level for immediate and long-term resolutions to these shortages.
  • Leveraging our membership with Civica Rx to reduce and prevent chronic drug shortages in the future. 

For information about how your ministry or clinic is responding to the shortage, reach out to your local operations leader.

Drug shortages require comprehensive, multi-pronged efforts to stabilize the supply chain and ensure the optimal care our patients deserve. Collaboration among health care organizations, regulatory bodies and pharmaceutical manufacturers is mission critical. 

Providence is committed to its role as a collaborative partner in this work and in advocating for access to these lifesaving medications. We continue to monitor the current shortage and adjust our response strategies as new information becomes available. 

Hoda Asmar, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer

Elie Bahou, Pharm.D.
Chief Pharmacy Officer

David Kim, M.D.
Chief Executive, Providence Clinical Network

Previous Article
New data fields added to Epic
New data fields added to Epic

Help us prepare for new state law requiring collection of expanded demographic information from patients. G...

Next Article
Important update: Providence and Cigna negotiations
Important update: Providence and Cigna negotiations

Patients may have received a letter from Cigna about their ability to see a Providence provider or get Prov...