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Assessing Relationships between Drug Shortages in the United States and Other Countries

Publication Date
Andrew W. Mulcahy, Preethi Rao, Vishnupriya Kareddy, Denis Agniel, Jonathan S. Levin, and Daniel Schwam

Drug shortages are a persistent public health problem in the United States and in other countries. Shortages can have important implications for the health care systems and pharmacies that purchase, store, and dispense drugs and for the patients who rely on the availability of drugs to treat and prevent disease. Although prior analyses explore the frequency of drug shortages in the United States, little is known about the extent to which U.S. drug shortages are associated with shortages in other countries. This report describes the characteristics of drugs with recent U.S. shortages identified using data from two sources: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. We describe changes in U.S. volume, price, and other metrics through the start of U.S. shortages and assess whether U.S. shortages are associated with changes in volume, price, and other outcomes in other countries.

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