The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compiled its most recent list of current and resolved drug shortages and discontinuations on their website on April 2, 2019.1 The list includes more than 180 discontinued drugs and more than 270 drugs currently in shortage and resolved shortages across 26 therapeutic areas.

Although there has been a tremendous decline in new drug shortages since the most recent peak in 2011, shortages continue to challenge providers and practitioners.

In a statement released in July of 2018, FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, MD, announced the formation of a new Drug Shortages Task Force, which aims to resolve drug shortages by using a holistic approach to address their possible causes.2

Solving a persistent challenge of this magnitude will not be addressed by the FDA alone. The task force will consist of senior leaders from the FDA, as well as leaders from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I believe long-term solutions must include those that encourage companies to invest in more capacity to make these important medicines, and to produce them with robust manufacturing processes that ensure consistently available quality products,” Dr Gottlieb noted. “But we need to look more broadly across the entire pharmaceutical industry, health care providers, payors, and government regulators for structural solutions that keep these shortages from happening.”

Provided below is a list of drugs1 currently in shortage across several therapeutic areas.

Anesthesia

Atropine sulfate injection

Bupivacaine hydrochloride and epinephrine injection, USP

Bupivacaine hydrochloride injection, USP

Ketamine injection

Lidocaine hydrochloride (Xylocaine) injection

Lidocaine hydrochloride (Xylocaine) injection with epinephrine

Methadone hydrochloride injection

Ropivacaine hydrochloride injection

Anti-Infective

Cefazolin injection

Cefepime injection

Cefotaxime sodium (Claforan) injection

Cefotetan disodium injection

Cycloserine capsules, USP

Erythromycin lactobionate for injection, USP

Gemifloxacin mesylate (Factive) tablets

Imipenem and cilastatin for injection, USP

Metronidazole injection, USP

Mupirocin calcium nasal ointment

Nystatin oral suspension

Piperacillin and tazobactam (Zosyn) injection

Antiviral

Letermovir (Prevymis) injection

Cardiovascular

Abciximab (ReoPro) injection

Bisoprolol fumarate tablets

Bumetanide injection, USP

Diltiazem hydrochloride

Diltiazem gydrochloride ER (twice-a-day) capsules

Dobutamine hydrochloride injection

Dopamine hydrochloride injection

Enalaprilat injection, USP

Epinephrine injection, 0.1 mg/mL

Eprosartan mesylate tablets

Guanfacine hydrochloride tablets

Labetalol hydrochloride injection

Lidocaine hydrochloride (Xylocaine) and dextrose injection solution-premix bags

Methyldopa tablets

Metoprolol tartrate injection, USP

Olmesartan medoxomil tablets

Procainamide hydrochloride injection, USP

Timolol maleate tablets

Valsartan tablets

Dermatology

Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection

Eflornithine hydrochloride (Vaniqa) cream

Endocrinology

Calcitriol injection USP 1 mcg/mL

Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection

Dextrose 50% injection

Fludrocortisone acetate tablets

Penicillamine (Depen) titratable tablets

Phosphate injection products

Potassium chloride injection

Potassium phosphate injection

Progesterone injection, USP

Scopolamine transdermal system

Sodium bicarbonate injection, USP

Sodium chloride 23.4% injection

Sodium phosphate injection

Gastroenterology

Amino acids

Calcium chloride injection, USP

Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection

Dextrose 5% injection bags

Dextrose 50% injection

Dicyclomine oral tablets/capsules

Metoclopramide injection, USP

Multivitamin infusion (adult and pediatric)

Ondansetron hydrochloride injection

Penicillamine (Depen) titratable tablets

Phosphate injection products

Potassium chloride injection

Potassium phosphate injection

Promethazine (Phenergan) injection

Ranitidine injection, USP

Sacrosidase (Sucraid) oral solution

Sodium bicarbonate injection, USP

Sodium chloride 0.9% injection bags

Sodium chloride 23.4% injection

Sodium phosphate injection

Hematology

Asparaginase erwinia chrysanthemi (Erwinaze)

Deferoxamine mesylate for injection, USP

Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection

Heparin sodium and sodium chloride 0.9% injection

Nelarabine (Arranon) injection

Neurology

Atropine sulfate injection

Carbidopa and levodopa extended-release tablets

Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection

Diazepam injection, USP

Levetiracetam immediate-release oral tablets, USP

Lorazepam injection, USP

Phenytoin sodium injection, USP

Physostigmine salicylate injection, USP

Scopolamine transdermal system

Oncology

Asparaginase erwinia chrysanthemi (Erwinaze)

Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection

Dexrazoxane injection

Ethiodized oil (Lipiodol) injection

Etoposide injection

Etoposide phosphate (Etopophos) injection

Leucovorin calcium lyophilized powder for injection

Leuprolide acetate injection

Methotrexate sodium injection

Pediatric

Amino acids

Asparaginase erwinia chrysanthemi (Erwinaze)

Atropine sulfate injection

Calcium chloride injection, USP

Cefepime injection

Cefotaxime sodium (Claforan) injection

Dexrazoxane injection

Dextrose 5% injection bags

Dextrose 50% injection

Diphenhydramine injection

Dobutamine hydrochloride injection

Fentanyl citrate (Sublimaze) injection

L-Cysteine hydrochloride injection

Leucovorin calcium lyophilized powder for injection

Lidocaine hydrochloride (Xylocaine) injection

Lidocaine hydrochloride (Xylocaine) injection with epinephrine

Methylphenidate hydrochloride (QUILLICHEW ER) extended-release chewable tablets

Methylphenidate hydrochloride (QUILLIVANT XR) for extended-release oral suspension

Multivitamin infusion (adult and pediatric)

Nystatin oral suspension

Penicillamine (Depen) titratable tablets

Peritoneal dialysis solutions

Phosphate injection products

Piperacillin and tazobactam (Zosyn) injection

Potassium chloride injection

Promethazine (Phenergan) injection

Remifentanil (Ultiva) lyophilized powder for solution injection

Sodium bicarbonate injection, USP

Sodium chloride 0.9% injection bags

Sodium chloride 23.4% injection

Sodium phosphate injection

Psychiatry

Buspirone HCl tablets

Flurazepam hydrochloride capsules

Fluvoxamine ER capsules

Haloperidol tablets

Hydroxyzine pamoate oral capsules

Isocarboxazid tablets

Methylphenidate hydrochloride (QUILLICHEW ER) extended-release chewable tablets

Methylphenidate hydrochloride (QUILLIVANT XR) for extended-release oral suspension

Thioridazine hydrochloride tablets

Thiothixene capsules

Trifluoperazine hydrochloride tablets

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Pulmonary/Allergy

Aminophylline injection, USP

Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection

Diphenhydramine injection

Epinephrine injection, 0.1 mg/mL

Epinephrine injection, auto-injector

Promethazine (Phenergan) injection

Sclerosol intrapleural aerosol

Sterile talc powder

Renal

Dobutamine hydrochloride injection

Penicillamine (Depen) titratable tablets

Peritoneal dialysis solutions

Procainamide hydrochloride injection, USP

Reproductive

Hydroxyprogesterone caproate injection

Rheumatology

Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection

Ketoprofen capsules

See the FDA Drug Shortages page for a full listing of current shortages, resolved shortages, and discontinuations for all therapeutic areas.

References

  1. Current and resolved drug shortages and discontinuations reported to FDA. US Food and Drug Administration. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/drugshortages/default.cfm. Accessed April 2, 2019.
  2. Statement by FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on formation of a new drug shortages task force and FDA’s efforts to advance long-term solutions to prevent shortages. US Food and Drug Administration. July 12, 2018. Accessible at: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm613346.htm