One in Seven Drug Supply Chain Issue Reports Tied to Drug Shortages

Supply disruptions increased for drugs with and without reports at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
One in Seven Drug Supply Chain Issue Reports Tied to Drug Shortages
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, April 10, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- One in seven reports of drug supply chain issues are associated with drug shortages, according to a study published online April 5 in JAMA Network Open.

Katherine Callaway Kim, from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues estimated the proportion of supply chain issue reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists associated with drug shortages overall and with the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis included data from the IQVIA Multinational Integrated Data Analysis database, comprising more than 85 percent of drug purchases by U.S. pharmacies from wholesalers and manufacturers (2017 to 2021).

The researchers identified 571 drugs exposed to 731 supply chain issue reports, which were matched to 7,296 comparison medications with no reports. When accounting for drug characteristics, 13.7 percent of supply chain issue reports were associated with subsequent drug shortages versus 4.1 percent of comparators (marginal odds ratio [mOR], 3.7). For both drugs with and without reports, shortages increased in February to April 2020 (34.2 percent of drugs with supply chain issue reports and 9.5 percent of comparison drugs; mOR, 4.9). These shortages then decreased after May 2020 (9.8 and 3.6 percent, respectively; mOR, 2.9). There were significant associations by formulation (parenteral mOR, 1.9 versus oral mOR, 5.4), by World Health Organization essential medicine status (essential mOR, 2.2 versus nonessential mOR, 4.6), and for brand-name versus generic status (brand-name mOR, 8.1 versus generic mOR, 2.4).

"These findings suggest that ongoing policy work is needed to protect U.S. drug supplies from future supply shocks," the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text


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