Critical Drug Shortage Dashboard

Drug shortages have been a reoccurring problem in US healthcare long before the COVID-19 pandemic. While many factors play into supply chain complications, the overriding one is that the country's pharamceutical system operates on a "just in time" system rather than one that predicts and prevents issues. Check out some of the recent shortages below:

156 Critical Acute Drugs List

Back in 2018, the Resilient Drug Supply Project (RDSP) and a panel of experts from government, academia, and the private sector created a list of 156 critical acute drugs which, by definition, are drugs that "when medically needed in acute care must be available and used within hours or days of the need or the patient may suffer serious outcomes which may include disability or death. Absence of a critical acute drug, or lack of availability of an effective substitute, may cause serious health outcomes or limited ability to provide humane care."

Download our 156 Critical Acute Drug List, which also includes a special COVID-19 critical drug section, or check out some of the numbers below.

Recent Shortages:Recent Resolvements:
  • valproate sodium (Dec 2020, FDA)
  • posaconazole (Dec 2020, ASHP)
  • zinc (Dec 2020, FDA)
  • haloperidol (Dec 2020, ASHP)
  • calcium chloride (Jan 2020, ASHP)
  • doxycycline (Jan 2020, FDA)
  • azithromycin (Dec 2020, FDA)
  • doxycycline (Dec 2020, ASHP)
  • nicardipine (Dec 2020, ASHP)
  • calcium chloride (Dec 2020, FDA)
  • gentamicin (Dec 2020, ASHP)
  • labetalol (Dec 2020, ASHP, FDA)
  • ethanol (Dec 2020, ASHP)
  • diphenhydramine (Nov 2020, ASHP)

40 Critical COVID-19 Drugs

To track shortages of drugs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the RDSP team put together a list of 40 critical COVID-19 drugs that include potential antiviral treatments, intubation drugs, and more. As researchers learn more about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the list may see revisions.

Recent Shortages:Recent Resolvements:
  • droperidol—one supplier (Nov 2020, ASHP)
  • calcium chloride (Jan 2020, ASHP)
  • azithromycin (Dec 2020, FDA)
  • calcium chloride (Dec 2020, FDA)

ASHP Drug Shortages

The American Society for Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) defines a drug shortage as "a supply issue that affects how the pharmacy prepares or dispenses a drug product or influences patient care when prescribers must use an alternative agent." This data is largely reliant on health system pharmacist reports.

FDA Drug Shortages

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a drug shortage as "a period of time when the demand or project demand for the drug within the U.S. exceeds its supply." This data is largely reliant on manufacturer reports.

*Graphics updated Jan 11, 2021

Newsletter Sign-up

Get CIDRAP news and other free newsletters.

Sign up now»


Grant support for RDS provided by

Unrestricted financial support provided by

Bentson Foundation