In an investigation by MSNBC, they found that drug shortages—even in critical areas like treating cancer—are posing a “growing public health crisis.” And it’s because the drug companies aren’t making them due to loss of profits from generics. Drug makers contacted would not respond to MSNBC. We’re talking about emergency care items like sterile injectables used for saving lives in allergic reactions and heart attacks.
Valerie Jensen, associate director of the Food and Drug Administration says underlying all the shortages is the “profitability problem.” Since the FDA can’t require production of the needed drugs, there is no one to compel drug makers to do what is right. The companies aren’t even required to notify the FDA there is a shortage, unless there is no alternative. Even if they don’t, there are no sanctions.