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Neurologic Drug Shortages May Compromise Care

Neurology; ePub 2017 Nov 15; Omorodion, et al

Continued drug shortages may compromise the care of patients with neurologic conditions, according to a recent study. When reported, manufacturing delays, followed by supply/demand issues, raw material shortages, regulatory issues, and business decisions were cited. Manufacturers, together with professional organizations, patient advocacy groups, and the government, need to continue to address this issue, which may escalate with a growing burden of neurologic disease. Drug shortage data from the University of Utah Drug Information Service (UUDIS) from 2001 to 2015 were analyzed. Medications were included that were likely to be prescribed by a neurologist to treat a primary neurologic condition or critical for care of a patient with a neurologic condition. Trends in shortage length were assessed using standard descriptive statistics. Investigators found:

  • A total of 2,081 shortages were reported by UUDIS and 311 (15%) involved medications for neurologic conditions.
  • After excluding discontinued products, 291 shortages were analyzed.
  • The median number of neurologic drugs in shortage was 21 per month with a median duration of 7.4 months.


Omorodion JO, Algahtani RM, Zocchi MS, Fox ER, Pines JM, Kaminski HJ. Shortage of generic neurologic therapeutics. An escalating threat to patient care. [Published online ahead of print November 15, 2017]. Neurology. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000004737.