A team at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, has identified principles for an ethical approach to apportioning scarce drugs using a hierarchy of clinical need and effectiveness, according to an article published online Sept. 24 by the Archives of Internal Medicine. Built on similar models that govern some organ donations, the policy was written by the hospital’s ethics committee and adopted by hospital leadership in 2011 as shortages of critical drugs occurred regularly.
“Our experience has demonstrated the feasibility and utility of formulating a rational and ethically sound policy for scare resource allocation in an academic teaching hospital that could be used in a variety of health care settings,” the authors write. “The method has proven to be reliable, workable, and acceptable to clinicians, staff and patients.”
[ via AHA News Now ]