Can the Global Market Fix Record Drug Shortages?

Drug shortages have reached an all-time high in the United States, with little indication that the shortages will be remedied in the next year, according to an Industry Leaders Magazine report.

Drug shortages reached record highs in 2010, fueled by health manufacturing problems, discontinuations and suspension of production, inability to meet demand, shortages of raw materials and contamination or quality issues. Business decisions by manufacturers and industry leaders also play a critical role in shortages. For example, production infrastructure and schedules are designed to maximize product output, and when drug shortages exist and capacity needs to expand, the structure cannot change automatically to correct deficiencies.

The report predicts that global demand for contract manufacturing services will increase throughout the decade as American drug companies struggle to fix the drug shortage. The U.S. accounts for more than 40 percent of demand, and India is in a strong position to meet that demand.

Other manufacturers have discontinued production of drugs when the patents expire and the drugs no longer return a profit. The report predicts that several factors will contribute to the growth in the global manufacturing market, including increased global competition, improved communication worldwide, reduction of risk in the supply chain and other issues.

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