Survey: Doctors Believe Holes in Medical Supply Chain Must Be Addressed

USP study reveals urgency to make changes, with additional concerns coming to light amid times of crisis

The vast majority (95%) of US physicians believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed vulnerabilities in the medicines supply chain that are not going away, while seven out of 10 (73%) feel their trust in the ability of the supply chain to deliver safe, quality medicines has eroded, according to a survey released by United States Pharmacopeia (USP), an independent, scientific nonprofit organization.

Nine out of 10 physicians surveyed (90%) said they are concerned that the global medicines supply chain may not be reliable in a time of crisis.

"… Despite its enormous complexity, the medicines supply chain has not 'broken.' Rather, the pandemic surfaced both longstanding vulnerabilities and acute, pandemic-driven resiliency gaps," says Ronald T. Piervincenzi, PhD, CEO of USP. "We must continue to work together on multi-pronged solutions to identify and mitigate supply chain vulnerabilities that adversely impact physicians' ability to deliver quality care and erode trust in quality medicines."

Further, the survey showed 83% of physicians believe that drug shortages have become a bigger problem in recent years, an issue alluded to in a 2019 FDA report that found 62% of drug shortages occur due to quality issues in manufacturing.