A shortage of a drug may be caused by a number of factors.


Risk factors for a drug shortage:

(1) shortage of components

(2) closure or loss of a production facility

(3) regulatory shutdown of a production facility

(4) surge in demand

(5) corporate decision to discontinue production

(6) other delays (scheduled maintenance, shipping, etc)


Reduced production by a supplier can be significant if:

(1) there are no or few other suppliers

(2) other suppliers are already operating at maximum capacity and are unable to meet demand

(3) it is unexpected, with no attempt to announce or communicate the change


The significance of a drug shortage is greater if:

(1) the shortage is prolonged so that all stockpiles are gone

(2) the need is great

(3) there are no drugs that can be substituted


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