AAM All Access Podcast: Drug Shortages and the U.S. Supply Chain | Association for Accessible Medicines
AAM All Access Podcast - AAM CEO Dan Leonard convenes industry and policy experts to explore why the Inflation Reduction Act (f/k/a Build Back Better) reduces generic and biosimilar competition.

AAM All Access Podcast: Drug Shortages and the U.S. Supply Chain

AAM’s All Access Podcast lets us all learn from leaders and influential figures in health care. This series of candid, wide-ranging dialogues has given me a deeper appreciation of the dedication and brilliance of the men and women who take on the challenge of making prescription medicines more widely accessible. Only with access to prescription drugs can patients live life to their fullest potential. I very much look forward to continuing these fascinating, educational dialogues and hope you’ll tune in.

In the latest All Access conversation, I discuss drug shortages with three pharmacists:

  • David Gaugh, SVP, Sciences & Regulatory Affairs, AAM
  • Jessica Daley, Group VP, Chief Pharmacy Officer, Premier
  • Steven Schondelmeyer, professor of pharmacy at the University of Minnesota

Listen now on your favorite podcast channel: Apple | Spotify | YouTube

Supply chain issues continue to bedevil the U.S. economy, but since the start of the pandemic, prescriptions medicines have generally remained available.

David made an important distinction between a situation where a pharmacy lacks enough medication on its shelf to fill a prescription when a patient walks in and a true shortage, defined by FDA as a situation where the total supply of all versions of the approved product available at the user level will not meet the current demand, and a registered alternative manufacturer will not meet the current and/or projected demands for the potentially medically necessary use(s) at the user level.

In the early months of the pandemic, Steven said, We were able to mitigate some of the initial demand spikes by allocating and shifting product across regions in the U.S. We have learned the market for pharmaceuticals can adjust, and it has adjusted in the last two years. He added, Pharmaceuticals have longer lead times than other industries, but given the constraints we've had, I think we did very well.

Jessica described a survey Premier conducted of more than 150 health systems, pharmacists and staff, as well as more than 56 generic drug manufacturers. Confidence and supply availability is one of their highest, most important factors in their purchasing strategy, she said. When we think of the way that especially the generic market has moved over the years, being extremely price sensitive and looking at how we find and source products that are at a very competitive price, and that leads generally a lot of the decisions that are made. For Premier, she said, High compliance is critically important. And high compliance doesn't always come with the lowest price tag. We focus our strategy around bringing high quality, reliable supply for both our providers and our suppliers at a price that is fair.

As Steven said, There's no golden bullet that will take care of this in one shot. This is a multifaceted issue that we have to deal with. We need to deal with the affordability of the drug supply. We need to deal with the safety of the drug supply.

AAM Blueprint for Enhancing the Security of the U.S. Pharmaceutical Supply Chain


Dan Leonard, AAM President and CEO

By Dan Leonard, AAM President and CEO
Published on July 1, 2022

Association for Accessible Medicines


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