ISPE Set To Address Drug Shortages At Annual Meeting
Drug shortages continue to plague the pharmaceutical industry. According to a GAO report on shortages, dated February 2014, the number of shortages continues to increase in the U.S., as well as around the world. In 2007 there were 154 shortages, 114 new shortages and 40 ongoing from a prior year. In 2012, there were 456 shortages, 195 news ones and 261 ongoing. As of June 30, 2013, there were already 73 new shortages and 288 ongoing.
The public health importance of these shortages cannot be overemphasized. Shortage situations have included zinc for parenteral nutrition in neonates and premature infants, doxorubicin for ovarian and other cancers, and Propofol for anesthesia.
Clearly something needs to be done. “ISPE believes efforts to address this complex and multi-faceted problem of drug shortages requires close collaboration and clear communication between the pharma industry and global health authorities,” says Francois Sallans, VP and chief quality officer for Johnson & Johnson, and presenter at the 2014 ISPE-FDA CGMP Conference. “We believe The Drug Shortages Prevention Plan being assembled by ISPE will provide guidance to pharma and global health authorities to manage drug shortages more effectively. But more importantly we are looking into ways for the two groups to manage these shortages more proactively as well. That is an important component that we need to have in place in order to make these shortages rare, but short-lived.”