The FDA released a new report on the causes of the ongoing drug shortages in the U.S. health care system, according to the agency.
A multiagency task force—made up of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs, among others—conducted the report, which analyzed 163 drugs that were in shortage between 2013 and 2017.
The task force identified three broad causes of the drug shortages: a lack of incentives for companies to manufacture less profitable drugs; an absence of recognition and reward for continuing to improve manufacturing infrastructure; and the presence of logistical and regulatory challenges in the market after a supply chain disruption.
The task force also highlighted possible solutions toward alleviating those challenges: increasing awareness of the effects of the drug shortages on patients, developing an incentivized rating system to encourage investment in quality management for manufacturing facilities, and promoting sustainable private-sector contracts to ensure reliable drug supply.
The report focused primarily on improving awareness of the effects of drug shortages and increasing incentives for private-sector drug manufacturers. The report also included details about legislative proposals in the presidential budget for 2020 that focus on improved data sharing, expanding drug expiration dates, and creating standardized quality guidelines for international pharmaceutical systems.