Supply chain issues are leading to a global shortage of epidural supplies. The shortage is due to a worldwide shortage of raw materials critical to making supplies for the procedure, as well as manufacturing delays.
At this time, western provinces are experiencing varying degrees of constrained supplies. B.C. still has adequate supplies in stock and patient care is not impacted.
Based on existing stock and expected shipments from primary suppliers, PHSA Supply Chain expects to be able to provide the same historical volume of products in order to allow clinicians to continue existing pain management practices.
PHSA supply chain is closely monitoring epidural supplies and providing provincial clinical partners with updates as they receive them. The team has put mitigation strategies in place to ensure provincial supplies meet daily operational needs.
PHSA Supply Chain is attending regular, national calls hosted by Health Canada to stay informed on incoming supplies and expectant resolution dates.
At this time, PHSA Supply Chain is working with clinical partners to prioritize substitute products where the primary product has limited availability.
Additionally, the province is working to secure additional stock by working with multiple vendors. In the meantime, care teams are encouraged to optimize existing supplies by:
- Refraining from stockpiling epidural supplies.
- Only ordering epidural products in the quantities needed.
- Refraining from using epidural supplies for educational purposes.