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How Do Antimicrobial Shortages Differ Between High- & Low-Income Countries?


Milena McLaughlin, PharmD, MSc, Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice, Midwestern University and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, explains how antimicrobial shortages differ between high- and low-income countries.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability):

“Antimicrobial shortages differ between high- and low-income countries in a few different ways. In a low-income country, we’re worried about counterfeit drugs coming. We’re worried about the integrity of the supply chain. We’re worried about things that are supposed to be kept cold having been in the cold chain the entire time. And we’re worried about those medications getting to the patient in a safe way.

In some countries, there are more injectable medications on shortage, such as higher-income countries, in some lower-income countries, it’s more of the oral medications that are on shortage, and then in some other countries there are a lot of herbal medications on shortage. It really just depends on the country at hand, but in many of the lower-income countries, we have a lot of issues with counterfeit medications. And so, there are various ways that they are working to combat these [issues] but basically, we want to make sure that the drug [gets] to the patient at the end of the day, [that] we have a constant supply, and that the drugs they are getting is actually going to treat them appropriately.”
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