Shortages of Medicines: A Complex Global Challenge
(2012; 2 pages)


Shortages of essential medicines, among them generic injectable chemotherapy agents, are causing increasing concern in the United States of America (USA). However, the problem is far wider, affecting other classes of medicines including injectable anaesthetic agents, such as propofol, intravenous nutrition and electrolyte products, enzyme replacement products and radiopharmaceuticals. Medicine shortages have also been noted in Australia and Canada. A recent commentary in a Belgian pharmacy journal claims that the problem is global – “from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe” – listing 21 countries affected by a variety of supply problems. A shortage of the injectable antibiotic streptomycin was reported in 15 countries in 2010, with 11 more countries predicting their stocks would run out before they could be replenished...

The WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal was designed and is maintained by Human Info NGO. Last updated: December 1, 2019