New drug shortages rose 27% in 2018

After three years of stability, the number of new drug shortages in the U.S. climbed 27 percent in 2018, according to a new analysis cited by STAT.

In 2018, there were 186 new shortages, up from 146 new shortages in 2017, according to the analysis conducted by Salt Lake City-based University of Utah Health Care researchers.

Injectable medications used in hospitals accounted for 55 percent of the new shortages.

"These numbers show things are not getting better," Erin Fox,PharmD, senior director for drug information and support services at University of Utah Health, told STAT. "I think what makes this point in time different is that we’re out of a lot of basics. So it feels a lot worse than in the past."

The recent analysis on the increase in new shortages comes as executives note critical medications are harder to find for various reasons, including drugmakers leaving the market for some treatments; quality problems at manufacturing plants; and lingering delays caused by natural disasters near production plants.

Read the full report here.

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