February 21, 2012
National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) presents a present day dilemna regarding this recent problem of essential drug shortages due to unexpected drug manufacturing plant closings, lack of profitability, etc.
This current issue does not yet relate to diabetes medications, but it is a very important dilemna to be aware of. We started to see a bit of this with insulin recently...and perhaps as many newer insulins patents expire we may see even more insulin drug shortages or elimination of production of insulins that are relied upon at present. Perhaps we will see the same with some of the oral agents as well.
This trend of drug coverage for only generics results in drug companies profits to drop drastically. Couple that with the large settlements lawyers are able to obtain for people who may have suffered ill effects from a drug (even though there may have been pre-existing conditions predisposing that individual to a poor health prognosis unrelated to the drug in question)....it is surely a problem to watch carefully.
Here is the current issue:As a result of the shortages of particular drugs, pharmacies are faced with discarding drugs when the expiration date has come. There are some who argue that expiration dates stated on drugs may be outdated according to current knowledge, but remain in place because to change the expiration date would mean going through FDA with new studies.
Understandably, "The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have stipulated that distributors must abide by the standards communicated by the manufacturer when assessing the medicine's continued quality."