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Browsing by Subject "drug shortage"

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  • Ravela, Reko (2021)
    Objectives To investigate distribution and causes of drug shortages in five selected countries with data from public shortage notification registers. Design Statistical retrospective analysis of national drug shortage registers Data Public shortage notification register data from the first nine months of 2020 in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Spain, and the United States, partly combined with national drug registers. Results Altogether 5132 shortage reports from Finland (n=1522), Sweden (n=890), Norway (n=800), Spain (n=814), and the United States (n=1106) published during the first nine months of 2020 were found in the study. More than half (54%) of the active ingredient level shortages (classified by ATC code) found occurred in only one country, and only 1% occurred in all five countries. On a country level, 19-41% of the shortages were found only in a given country. The distribution of shortages by ATC category and drug form was significantly different between countries, especially between the US and European countries. Injectables were found to have an especially high shortage risk in the US, much less so in European countries. On the other hand, some drug classes were in shortage almost exclusively in Europe but not in the US. Conclusions Although drug shortages are a growing global problem, drug shortages are rarely global, but typically occur only in some countries, while other countries have an uninterrupted supply of the same drug. Drug shortages should be seen not just as a problem of manufacturing disruptions, but as a question of equitable and effective distribution of drug supply on an international level. Price differences and other commercial issues could be factors behind variation of shortages found between countries.Considering the limited and probing nature of the study, further research of shortage register data is certainly warranted. International comparative register study is a meaningful and valid method for further understanding in this field.