A dire scarcity of drugs is worsening, in part, because they are so cheap
The Economist covers the rise in drugs shortages, highlighting that the number of manufacturers, particularly for antibiotics, is growing ever smaller.
In describing the impact for low- and middle-income countries, the newspaper quotes Jayasree K, Iyer, Executive Director of the Access to Medicine Foundation:
"Data from poor countries are more limited but shortfalls in America or Europe often flag up a worldwide shortage"
Jayasree describes how, when supplies are squeezed, drug firms may prioritise selling their medicines to rich countries where they can command higher prices. Some countries are considering paying more for critical older medicines in order to secure their supply, which will also help safeguard supplies for other countries.