The coronavirus pandemic is worsening the United States’ drug shortage problem, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Due to Covid-19, we’ve had the increasing demand for certain medications, and then we’ve also had an increase in hospitalizations, which has drained the supply. Patients wanting to stock up, and that’s a normal reaction — that’s been another reason,” Valerie Jensen, associate director of the drug shortages staff at the FDA, said Wednesday on the podcast “FDA Insight”.
“And then sometimes, we’ve had some cases of slower manufacturing times due to labor shortages in some of the areas that have been harder hit.”
Traditionally, Jensen said, drug shortages are rooted in manufacturing and quality problems involving sterile, injectable drugs especially older ones. Those are the very kinds of medications used by hospitalized patients, that are facing shortages and increased demand
There are also shortages of pharmacy drugs, like those for high blood pressure and antibiotics.
Jensen said the FDA had been in contact with more than 180 drug manufacturers since January, working to stabilize supply chains and monitor potential disruptions.