Drug shortage problem needs to be tackled internationally

I wish to comment on Ingrid Torjesen’s interesting news story on tackling ongoing drug shortages (
The Pharmaceutical Journal

2015;294:234). Manufacturers and providers of medicines work in a global marketplace, where decisions affecting supply and price of medicines, particularly in a large single country user, could have dramatic effects on smaller markets.

It should not be surprising that when a medicine is in short supply globally, the manufacturer may choose to supply to countries where profits are higher or penalties are lower. The recommendations from the tackling drug shortage report mentioned in Torjesen’s piece should be considered internationally and enacted on in the same way where possible by agreement between countries and drug manufacturers.

The US Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, or something similar, should be acted in the UK, if not the whole of the EU, as soon as possible.


David Stead

Bransgore, Hampshire 

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 14 March 2015, Vol 294, No 7853;294(7853):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20068017

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