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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 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068017

Readers' comments (1)

  • I have believed this for some time. I have had people in my pharmacy who live in Switzerland who pay 90 euros per month for the same Teva generic Amlodipine that I had on my shelf.
    I think the real argument now needs to be around are medicines in the UK too cheap now?
    Where do you think any company is going to sell their medicines when there is any stress on the supply chain?

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