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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Pharmacol. | doi: 10.3389/fphar.2019.00763

Medicines shortages: Gaps between countries and global perspectives

 Egdda P. Vanegas1, 2,  ANGELA ACOSTA1, 2*, JOAN ROVIRA1, 3,  Brian Godman1, 4, 5, 6 and  TOMASZ Bochenek1, 7
  • 1South American Institute of Government in Health (ISAGS), Brazil
  • 2Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia
  • 3Andalusian School of Public Health, Spain
  • 4Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
  • 5Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden
  • 6School of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa
  • 7Faculty of Health Science, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Poland

Over the last decade, global health policies and different research areas have focused on the relevance of medicine shortages. Published studies suggest there have been difficulties with access to medicines since the beginning of the twentieth century. Some suggested approaches have enabled advances in our understanding and management of the problem. However, in view of global and regional health care concerns, the phenomena needs to be characterized and described more fully in order to provide evidence about the current types of affected medicines, identified causes, and potential strategies to address this. This study aims to compare the situation regarding shortages between countries in three different regions, analyzing adopted definitions, main causes reported for the shortage’s events, global context and national approaches Methodology: An observational study presented as a narrative review of the situation and findings. Results: Based on the reported cases in the literature, a typology of medicines shortage and supply interruption episodes and its causes were proposed; national approaches to notify and manage the medicines shortages cases were described and classified by update frequency; main differences between market and supply chain manage perspective of the situation were identified global and countries perspectives also were described with emphasis on available definitions. Conclusion: Policy makers require solutions that prevent those cases in which the population's health is affected by episodes of medicine shortages and/or interruption in the supply chain. In addition, to generate a glossary related to logistics management and the availability of medicines will be useful to understand and overcome the phenomena; and to recognize that potential solutions are not only related with actions linked to research, development and innovation as some global perspectives are proposing, but much wider.

Keywords: Shortage, medicines access, Europe, South - America, Supply chain (SC), Pharmaceutical policy, North America

Received: 31 Jan 2019; Accepted: 12 Jun 2019.

Edited by:

Sam Salek, University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Robert L. Lins, Independent researcher
Muhammad Usman, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pakistan  

Copyright: © 2019 Vanegas, ACOSTA, ROVIRA, Godman and Bochenek. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. ANGELA ACOSTA, South American Institute of Government in Health (ISAGS), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,