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The top 7 reasons for current drug shortages

For Veterinary Practices
Prescribe Now
For Pet & Horse Owners
Manage Your Prescriptions
Monday, December 5, 2011

There are a number of reasons why a drug goes on backorder. I've outlined the seven most common issues affecting your access as a prescribing veterinarian to the drugs you need.

  1. Mergers
    Any time you read the papers you hear about pharmaceutical companies acquiring each other and merging into fewer and fewer entities. A side effect of this is that some drugs are not viewed by the new company as important or profitable and can be discontinued for this reason alone.

  2. Factory closings
    Whether it is forced or voluntary, some pharmaceutical manufacturers need to close certain plants for simple maintenance or even safety issues. When this happens, any drug they were producing there is suddenly no longer in production, even though there may be nothing wrong with that drug.

  3. Raw material shortage
    When a chemical supplier has its own issues getting raw chemical or distributing it to the manufacturers, it has the effect of slowing or halting production of the drug. Veterinarians are frequently blind-sided by occurrences like these, because they often cannot be predicted, and word of the shortage at this level doesn’t spread until it’s too late.

  4. Increased demand
    There are more prescribers and more patients today than ever. Simple economics proves that this puts a strain on the ability for everyone to get the manufactured drugs they need when they need them. An issue like this, however, is typically resolved by an increase in production at some point, but may result in price increases!

  5. Change in production site
    Usually a temporary situation, changing production sites will typically result in down-time for the manufacturer.

  6. Product discontinued
    Products can be discontinued for any number of reasons from safety concerns to low sales. No matter the reason, the impact is always the same: drugs you need in your practice are no longer available!

  7. Recalls
    When drugs are recalled, it creates an instant headache for you. Sometimes, it’s a single lot that gets recalled and the disruption is minimal, but occassionally, the drug is subsequently pulled from the market altogether.


What veterinarians can do during backorder situations

I've put together a presentation on what is currently going on in the pharmaceutical industry and how it impacts veterinary practitioners like us. Download the eBook from the Resources for Veterinarians section of WedgewoodPetRx. Additionally, you can watch the on-demand presentation on PetsVetSpace.com for CE credit. I'll be guest blogging here for a few weeks to share with you this important information.

Michael Brown, DVM, MS
Michael Brown, DVM, MS
Veterinary Ophthalmologist
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About Michael Brown, DVM:
In addition to his professional studies and residency training in ophthalmology, Dr. Brown received a Master of Science degree for his biochemical study of animal tears. Dr. Brown became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 1996.

Dr. Brown’s special interests include diseases of the cornea, corneal surgery, intraocular surgery and diseases of the retina.

He has written scientific papers, is a noted lecturer throughout the country and is an ophthalmology consultant for pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Brown is the owner of Veterinary Ophthalmology Services, Inc., a veterinary practice that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular diseases in animals. Veterinary Ophthalmology Services, Inc. offers services at the Animal Eye Center in Little Falls, NJ, Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, NJ and at Animerge in Raritan, NJ.

The views expressed on this blog are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Wedgewood Pharmacy.

Medications compounded by Wedgewood Pharmacy are prepared at the direction of a veterinarian. Many compounded preparations are commonly prescribed, and supported by literature, to treat particular disease states, but you should always consult your veterinarian before taking or administering any compounded medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy does not make claims for the efficacy of its compounded preparations.


Michael Brown, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVO 12/5/2011 8:38:00 AM

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