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A shift toward making multiple medications under one roof is sparking concern about what happens when a facility suddenly shuts down because of a manufacturing or safety issue: Closing a single factory could lead to shortages of hundreds of drugs, say regulators and industry analysts.

Their anxiety is complicated by the tight secrecy surrounding where pharmaceuticals are made, so even experts aren’t certain where or how a supply problem has occurred.


“Sometimes, months or years later, we figure it out,” said Erin Fox, who directs the Drug Information Service at the University of Utah. “But it’s rare.”

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  • Reminds me of the good old days, when some of the manufacturers would have all their anti-infectives on an island south of Florida, that had to deal with hurricaines ever year and the plant would get damaged and then we had to deal with how to treat patients because of shortages (not FDA/483, etc. related). I just came out of industry and would discuss API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) with our commercial folks who negotiated the API and how a couple companies controlled most of the anti-infectives needed to make drugs, etc. through out the world. When I was in hospital practice when it came to generic drugs, I always wanted to know where the API came from and I would purchase that product, because it was more important to treat patients, than save a few bucks. In the long run, it could actually cost more by having to switch to a different class of drug or another generic.

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