FDA: 43 new drug shortages, 86 ongoing shortages in 2020
The Food and Drug Administration identified 43 new drug and biological product shortages in 2020, down from 51 in 2019, and 86 ongoing shortages from prior years, according to the agency’s latest annual report to Congress on the issue.
“Although the number of new drug shortages has declined since 2011 as a result of work by many groups, including FDA, shortages continue to pose a real challenge to public health,” the report notes. “This is especially the case when the shortage involves a critical drug to treat cancer, to provide parenteral nutrition, or to address another serious medical condition, such as a shortage of blood pressure medications. Although there has been a leveling off in new shortages over the past few years, CY 2020 has been a challenging year for shortages. FDA continues to see the residual effects from the closing of two manufacturing facilities in 2017 and 2018 by major drug manufacturers for remediation purposes, which resulted in the loss of the manufacturing capacity needed for the supplies of numerous drugs. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the pharmaceutical supply chain in CY 2020, such as through the increase in demand for many drug products.”