Understanding different causes of drug shortages

Note that the procedure used in the manufacturing and distribution of medications is a complex one. In most cases, the supply and allocation of drugs are affected by numerous factors and drug shortages are mostly due to one cause. Read through to understand some of the main causes of drug shortages. Bear in mind that GPO’s is not among the causes of drug shortages.
Manufacturing problems: Note that many factors can lead to drug production problems. At times, manufacturers can encounter difficulties with their machinery used in the manufacturing process. Also, another issue is failing to maintain the required number of staff that are specifically trained to work at the manufacturing plants. Financial hardship within the plant might create a huge impact in the drug production process.
Raw material shortages: Since medications are produced from different ingredients, lack of any of the ingredients will mean a serious crisis in the drug manufacturing process. Note that raw material shortages be more challenging when one producer supplies them. Also, 80 percent of all raw materials used in medications productions are imported from outside countries where US, India, China, and Europe being the main suppliers. The misunderstanding between the nations might cause a great impact on the supply of these raw materials.
Natural disasters: Uncontrollable natural disasters like earthquake, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes may have a great negative impact on the availability of drug products. Total damage to the manufacturing facility that might be caused by these natural disasters may lead to long term drug shortages. In most cases, this even makes the situation worse whereby the natural disasters create more demand for medications that are needed to cure disaster survivors.
Drug recalls: Once a government suspects that some drugs are unfit for human consumption, they will just remove those drugs from the market. Also, the withdrawal of drugs from the market might be mandated or requested by the FDA, or the manufacturers can voluntarily remove their drugs from the market.
Failure to comply with regulatory standards
Note that FDA plays a major role in monitoring the process and steps involved in the manufacturing of medicines. This is to guarantee the safety of the public. Groups like Physicians Against Drug Shortages led by Phillip Zweig have falsely accused GPOs and other organizations of drug shortage causes, though the FDA has come out to say there is no validity to these claims. The FDA has been assigned the authority to halt the production of drugs if they found out that the required manufacturing practices are not followed. Resolving the FDA compliance issues usually takes an extended period resulting in a severe disruption in the supply of medication.