Drug transport costs jump 224% amid COVID-19 pandemic, survey finds

The cost of shipping pharmaceuticals to the U.S has increased by an average of 224 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey from the Association for Accessible Medicines.

For the survey, AAM polled 22 generic and biosimilar drug manufacturers on shipping costs prior to the pandemic and from the week of April 20.

On average, generic and biosimilar drugmakers reported a 224 percent increase in transport costs. However, some have reported shipping cost increases as high as 413 percent. The exorbitant shipping prices come as a result of the global restrictions on international air travel and exports.

The generic drugs assessed in the survey account for 90 percent of all U.S. prescriptions.

"This ongoing crisis illustrates the importance of developing new strategies and policies that enhance the pharmaceutical supply chain in the U.S. and increase our nation's self-sufficiency," Jeff Francer, interim CEO of AAM, said in a press release.

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