The FDA Drug Shortage, and Availability

A drug receives FDA “resolved” status when the Drug Shortages Staff (DSS) determines that the market is covered, based on information from manufacturers and that no shortage is anticipated. The DSS monitors the supply of products with resolved status. When supply is available from at least one manufacturer to cover the entire market, it is considered “covered.” In other words, the shortage is “resolved” and the product available. On the FDA website, you can see a list of medicines/products that are currently in shortage and others that are resolved. With this list, you can get information about discontinued drugs, or if they are available, resolved, in supply, and estimated duration of shortage. It will also tell you the reason for the shortage. The list provides information about corresponding therapeutic categories, resource information, and relevant links.

Source: FDA Drug Shortages

Will Coronavirus Restrictions Mean a Shortage of Important Medical Drugs?

A recent Quartz article looks at drug company distribution under COVID restrictions and what it will mean for patients in need of life-saving drugs. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant disruption for many industries and supply chains. Pharmaceutical supply chains want to protect themselves and so they are unwilling to divulge what drugs are in short supply or may soon be in short supply. This makes it difficult for regulators and public health officials to know how to plan ahead. The problem with determining how COVID will affect the supply of medication is that many pharmaceutical ingredients are produced outside the USA and many manufacturing plants are also located in other countries. With corona restrictions limiting air travel and, in some countries, limiting business operations it is uncertain what point of the production chain could be disrupted.

Source: How Covid-19 could disrupt pharmaceutical supply chains — Quartz

The EU Parliament: The Disruption of Medical Supply Chains Under COVID-19

The EU parliament offers a Q&A page where you can get updates and ask questions regarding the disruption of medical supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken by all EU countries. Up to 90% of active ingredients in medicines are produced in China and India. This has made the EU national health systems vulnerable during the COVID pandemic. Not only is the EU reliant on receiving the active ingredients from abroad under coronavirus restrictions but the situation is exacerbated by some member states restricting the intra-community movement of pharmaceuticals. This may lead to shortages and disruption of the medical supply chain.

EU Parliamentary Q&A:  Disruption of medical supply chains in the EU due to COVID-19 and unilateral national measures

The FDA is Monitoring the Supply of Drugs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The FDA is constantly monitoring the availability of medical drugs with expectations that COVID-19 will disrupt the supply chain. The FDA is in touch with more than 180 manufacturers of human drugs so that they are informed of any up-coming shortages including shortages of active ingredients produced in China. The FDA is also aware of the possible disruption of the supply chain for medical devices. COVID-19 movement restrictions, quarantines, and travel restrictions have all impacted the supply of medical drugs. The FDA will continue to monitor and update about the supply chain of human drugs, medical devices, biologics and blood supply, food and animal drugs during the pandemic.

Source: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supply Chain Update | FDA