Drug shortages: the cycle of quantity and quality

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Mar;93(3):245-51. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2012.235. Epub 2012 Dec 6.


Shortages of pharmaceutical drugs pose a serious and growing threat to public health. Although the number of drugs in shortage in the United States in any given year is very small, the number of prescription drug shortages in the country nearly tripled between 2005 and 2010. Drug shortages are becoming more severe as well as more frequent. The affected medicines include cancer treatments, anesthesia drugs, and other drugs that are critical to the treatment and prevention of serious diseases and life-threatening conditions. (The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Executive Order 13588-Reducing Prescription Drug Shortages (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/31/executive-order-reducing-prescription-drug-shortages)).

MeSH terms

  • Drug Discovery
  • Drug Industry
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / supply & distribution*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations