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Building Resilience Into U.S. Prescription Drug Supply Chains

The challenges of maintaining an adequate supply of prescription drugs in the U.S. are many, starting with the numbers: more than 20,000 approved prescription drug products and 13,000 facilities registered to make finished drug products or active pharmaceutical ingredients (78% of APIs are made outside the U.S.). Writing in Health Affairs, authors point to several areas for next steps in countering the shortages currently affecting the healthcare system: transparency in all parts of the system, including FDA and the rest of the federal government, group purchasing organizations, and physicians; inventory management that includes systems and frameworks for allocation of scarce inventory; and onshoring of supply chains that are most important to the health and well-being of Americans.

“The social costs of poor prescription drug supply chain resilience are tremendous, but we cannot rely on market forces alone to address gaps because current challenges are themselves a result of market forces,” the authors conclude. “It is ultimately private industry that needs to take steps to create resilience. However, the federal government plays an important role in prioritizing industry efforts and providing the data, incentives, and mandates to steer the industry to make these investments. Congress plays a role in funding these steps.”

Source: Health Affairs