Shortages of Essential Drugs are Becoming Frequent Globally

The rise in generic drugs production has led to a global shortage of essential medicine. The World Health Organization and the FDA believe intervention is necessary.

FOX’s Alex Hein with the story in “Housecall for Health.”: 

This is Housecall for Health.

Shortages of essential drugs, mostly generic medicines, whose patents have long expired, are becoming increasingly frequent globally, prompting the World Health Organization to suggest minimum prices may be needed to keep some products on the market.

Shortages are due to a variety of factors from manufacturing, quality, and raw material issues to unexpected spikes in demand. The rise in shortages has gone hand and hand with the wave of consolidation among the firms making generic drugs, reducing the number of manufactures making individual product lines.

Drug regulators can not mandate a company to continuing producing a drug either. In addition, shortages in developing countries can go unreported for months or even years, increasing the risk of counterfeit drugs.

One FDA drug shortage program official believes global action could compliment national measures, but also said that new ways to confront shortages must be found.

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Housecall for Health, I’m Alex Hein, FOX News.