The pandemic and supply chain challenges are partly to blame for the drug shortages. In recent years, manufacturing output for some drugs sank as a result of factors such as pandemic-induced restrictions and worker shortages. The pandemic also contributed to supply chain disruptions. For instance, China and India, both major suppliers of active pharmaceutical ingredients and other materials. As a result, the pharma industry has been forced to find new ways to ensure a steady supply of raw materials and ingredients.
To illustrate the impact of these drug shortage problems on patients and providers, we have compiled a list of some of the most recent drug shortages and their causes. We rank the entries based on the volume of prescriptions in 2020.
|Drug Name||Number of Prescriptions in 2020||Cause of Shortage|
|1. Adderall (amphetamine salts)||26.1 million||Increased demand during the pandemic and manufacturing delays. FDA announced the shortage in October 2022.|
|2. Albuterol (ventolin)||17.9 million||Increased demand from patients suffering from respiratory illnesses such as RSV, influenza and COVID-19. Closure of generics firm Akorn Pharmaceuticals in February 2023, according to ASHP.|
|3. Amoxicillin (Brand names Amoxil, Trimox)||12.8 million||Demand surge for antibiotics, delays and supply chain issues. Recent amoxicillin shortages have hit oral suspensions of the drug the hardest. Some manufacturers have not explained the reason behind the shortages.|
|4. Azithromycin (Brand name Zithromax)||7.4 million||Demand surge for antibiotics, delays and supply chain issues.|
|5. Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection (Brand name Decadron)||4.8 million||High demand for COVID-19 treatment. Manufacturing delays.|
|6. Bupivacaine hydrochloride injection (Brand name Marcaine)||3.6 million||Limited availability of raw materials. Increased demand for surgical procedures.|
|7. Clonazepam tablets (Brand name Klonopin)||2.5 million||Increased demand for anxiety treatment.|
|8. Cisplatin injection (Brand name Platinol)||1.5 million||Manufacturing delays and increased demand.|
|9. Cefotaxime sodium injection (Brand name Claforan)||1.4 million||Discontinuations by Hospira, Sanofi and Hikma, according to ASHP.|
|10. (tied) Cyclopentolate ophthalmic solution (Brand name Cyclogyl)||1.3 million||Closure of generics firm Akorn Pharmaceuticals in February 2023, according to ASHP.|
|10. (tied) Desmopressin acetate nasal spray (Generic DDAVP)||1.3 million||Continued impact from Ferring 2020 recall of desmopressin nasal spray. Amring has discontinued its marketing of the product, according to ASHP.|