Recent drug shortages in the US underscore the complexities, interdependencies and volatility of modern global supplier networks.
According to an IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics study released last week, most of the 168 products on the drug shortage lists compiled by the US Food and Drug Administration and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists have only one or two manufacturers. Thirteen companies have stopped supplying products on the shortages lists within the past two years. As Murray Aitken, executive director, IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, points out, this leaves a growing number of products open to possible production disruptions that cannot be offset rapidly by other manufacturers.
“Patients throughout the US, including hundreds of thousands being treated for cancer, may be at risk of treatment disruption due to drug shortages,” Aitken said. “Understanding the nature of these medicines, their suppliers and the supply volume dynamics – and focusing sharply on the market and supply chains that are most impacted – are essential to formulating meaningful solutions to this complex, and often misunderstood, issue.”
The new study, Drug Shortages: A Closer Look at Products, Suppliers and Volume Volatility, also found that: (more…)