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Health Law and Policy

Social and Behavioral Sciences

2014

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The Drug Shortage Crisis: What Happens When Generic Manufacturers "Just Say No", Stacey B. Lee Mar 2014

The Drug Shortage Crisis: What Happens When Generic Manufacturers "Just Say No", Stacey B. Lee

Stacey B. Lee

In the past five years, the number of drug shortages in the United States has nearly quintupled. The majority of shortages involve generic sterile injectables used to fight infectious diseases and treat cancer. These complex drugs are produced in a concentrated market consisting of only a few generic manufacturers. Any disruption in their supply can result in shortages that leave patients without access to life-saving drugs which in some cases are the only treatment for their condition. These chronic shortages have been linked to many possible factors including product quality concerns, discontinuation of product lines, changes in supply and demand, …