While the number of drug shortages has declined substantially in recent years, any drug shortage places substantial burdens on health care providers who may have to ration medicines or identify alternative treatments. The issue of drug shortages demands attention and collaboration from all stakeholders involved in providing life-saving medicines to patients. This includes the biopharmaceutical companies producing brand-name medications, as well as generic drug and biosimilar manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies and health care providers.
Biopharmaceutical companies work proactively to prevent and mitigate this issue by coordinating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other stakeholders to address the root causes of drug shortages.
For health care providers and patients, the FDA provides up-to-date information on medicines that have been reported in short supply or that have been discontinued. Patients should discuss with their health care provider potential alternative treatments if any of their medications are in shortage.