Drug shortages project wrap-up

This post is a part of a series on drug shortages.

And so the two week research elective has come to an end. The last few days of the elective got jumbled a bit by some personal issues and then the frenzy of the start of the CaRMS Interview period.

I want to briefly list out what I’ve achieved over the course of this elective. I say “I”, but I mean “we”: this entire elective has been supervised by Dr. Jacalyn Duffin and throughout the two weeks (and before, and now after) she has been been with me every step of the way and always keen to trade emails packed full of thoughts. A big, big thank you!

Okay, here’s the list:

  1. I updated our original analysis of drug shortages using fresh shortage data and then pushed it further by continuing to explore the extent of the shortages and attempted to assess the impact. Read each of my day-by-day posts or the detailed two part summary I wrote (part 1, and part 2). Also of note, my analysis is entirely reproducible, and I’ve made my code available.
  2. We got some press! The CBC ran story on drug shortages (alternate, pdf) in which Dr. Duffin was quoted, and a figure of mine was used (misleadingly). Additionally, Dr. Duffin has an article in The Hill Times on drug shortages (pdf).
  3. We started a drug shortage discussion list. Please join if you want to nerd-out about drug shortages with other researchers, health-care professionals, and others.
  4. I have a preliminary drug shortages dashboard set up here. The dashboard is designed to be updated regularly (e.g. weekly), and I will continue to develop it so that it can act as a quick reference for the current and historical state of drug shortages in Canada.
  5. I created an R package for accessing drug shortage data which should help future researchers programmatically access the DSC database.
  6. I also created a Python package for accessing drug shortage data along the way. I recommend you use the R package though.

The next step in this project is to continue to polish my work here and get something ready for publication. Stay tuned! And if you have comments or questions, please either direct them to me or post on the discussion list.