June 22, 2018 Source: FiercePharma 223
Drug supplies in the United States shot up to 39 last year from 26 in the two preceding years following two years of decline in the number of drug shortages. This is a huge difference from the peak supply period of more than 250 registered drug products available in 2011, though the FDA has acknowledged that many of the present critical drug shortages are having a severe impact on patient treatments.
The shortage of critical drugs has spanned the entire gamut of the supply from injectable painkillers to the Mylan Epipen as well as the availability of essentials such as IV fluids. In a statement, the FDA said: “These shortages greatly impact patient treatment options and require practitioners to make difficult decisions that can compromise care, such as rationing supplies or using less desirable, but more readily available, alternative therapies.”
The U.S. healthcare system and the FDA have been affected by manufacturing issues at one of the largest U.S. drugmakers, Pfizer. The company’s Hospira unit is the largest producer of injectable opioid analgesics used in hospitals.
In a report brought out by the FDA, it has been pointed out that specific drug shortages have been caused by delays in production related to changes and upgrades at a Pfizer facility in Kansas after the agency issued a warning letter to it.By Ddu
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