Providing data to form basis for a peer-reviewed academic article

Cogora distributed an online survey to our audience of 12,000 highly engaged European hospital pharmacists to collect data on drug shortages.

Objectives

Cogora was approached by researchers at the University of Leuven who, as part of an academic study conducted in collaboration with Teva, required help collecting data on drug shortages in European hospitals.

Our approach

Cogora worked together with the researchers to quality control and thereafter distribute an online survey to our audience of 12,000 highly engaged European hospital pharmacists.

The survey probed on which drug classes and disease domains that were most affected by drug shortages as well as the clinical and financial effects of drug shortages. Cogora distributed the survey for three-and-a-half months via the Hospital Pharmacy Europe weekly newsletter.

Outcome

  • 280 survey respondents

A total of 280 respondents, of which 161 were included in the final data analysis, took part in the survey.

Based on the data collected from these respondents, the researchers were able to provide valuable insights into the extent of, and reasons for, drug shortages in European hospitals. These findings were later published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE.

Key findings included the discovery that:
A majority of respondents reported drug shortages affecting life preserving and life sustaining medicines such as anti-infective drugs and oncology drugs
In most instances the drugs affected by such shortages were generics rather than originator drugs
A majority of respondents reported drug shortages to sometimes, often or always result in more expensive alternatives being used as well as resulting in increased hospital and pharmacy/personnel cost

Based on the findings from the survey, the authors made specific suggestions relating to the need for mandatory early notification of drug shortages as well as the potential for European and national policies relating to tendering and parallel trade to combat drug shortages.