Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pharm Supply Chain Meltdown

The pharmacy supply chain for many critical medications is melting down, with resulting shortages.

Why? The potential list so far:

1) ultra-cheap generics are no longer profitable to produce
2) an international supply chain does not work smoothly all the time
3) consolidation in the pharmaceuticals industry
4) hyper-regulation from the FDA since 2006 has disrupted the chain with little gain in safety

The hyper-regulation problem, involving both real safety issues and of course increases in paperwork is likely the biggest problem. The biggest problems seem to be in injectibles, including certain cancer and anesthesia drugs, which are being rationed if they can be found at all. Rationing and substitution seem to be the only short term solutions.

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