The Weekly Roundup: Drug Shortages (12.14.18)

December 14, 2018 | Pamela Youngberg

The lack of supply chain resilience in pharma is nothing new, and pharmacists and hospitals have been negotiating the problem for years. The task force set up in July that is focused on solving the problem has tossed out a range of solutions, including a national stockpile of critical medications. A retroactive study released last month of 1.3 billion prescription claims and a cohort of 1,114 generic drugs found that low-priced generic drugs were at a higher risk for drug shortages. Manufacturers have been quick to blame lack of regulatory clarity on the FDA. The FDA has said that it is playing with half a deck: It can’t force manufacturers to disclose the reasons for shortages. Chintan Dave, PharmD, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, the study’s author, said: “In the short term, the FDA should recognize that very low generic drug prices might be a factor in subsequent shortages and continue to consider the risk of shortages when taking steps to promote the safety and quality of the generic drug marketplace.” Check out this discussion of the problem and some of its causes.  

Here are a few other stories that might be of interest:

  • Building a better mousetrap. Here are some suggested ways pharmacists can help to improve quality and lower costs. 
  • Where human intelligence flags, artificial intelligence may play a role in improving electronic health record systems. 
  • As if a schizophrenia diagnosis wasn’t bad enough. Study finds additional, undesirable side effects from Clozapine treatment.
  • The jury’s in. Five convictions came down in the Massachusetts compounding case that killed 76 and sickened others in meningitis outbreak. 
  • Check out these three reasons the NCPDP thinks pharmacists should get involved in the push to bring specialty drugs to market faster.  
  • Is holiday travel stressing you out? Here are some tips to ease your pain or to share with your patients. 

[Editor’s note:] Our inboxes are stuffed with newsletters and our coffee tables stacked with magazines and industry digests. I’m sure yours are, too. So, we’ve decided to run a weekly sampling of interesting stories, issues coverage, and business ideas we come across each week. We hope you’ll share some of your favorites, too. Drop us a line at solutions@smart-fill.com.

 

 

Pamela Youngberg

Before she came to Smart-Fill, Pamela developed marketing strategy and content for a range of technology start-ups and large-cap enterprises. Outside the office, she's into cycling, renaissance history, cooking, and exploring the outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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