According to an FDA report issued in October, 2011, the number of drug shortages annually has tripled from 61 in 2005 to 178 in 2010. From January through October 2011, FDA tracked 220 drug shortages. Of the 127 studied drug shortages in 2010‐11, sterile injectables accounted for the majority (80 percent). The major therapeutic classes of drugs in shortage included oncology drugs (28 percent), antibiotics (13 percent), and electrolyte/nutrition drugs (11 percent).
Effectively addressing a drug shortage is a difficult and complex challenge for the entire healthcare community, in large part because a shortage typically appears with insufficient warning and often requires significant time and resources to manage when a particular therapy is in short supply.
While there are many factors that may result in a product being in short supply, HDMA members play a central role in exchanging and coordinating of information when a shortage occurs. Effective and timely communication across the supply chain is critical for better managing the impact of drug shortages and, most importantly, minimizing their effect on patient care.
HDMA and its members are committed to continuing to work with Congress, federal agencies and all stakeholders to safeguard America’s pharmaceutical supply and support the availability of safe and effective drugs.