RDSP in the News

Selected news coverage of the Resilient Drug Supply Project and its team members:

US reliance on foreign drug manufacturing a security risk: report

CNBC, Sep 24, 2021: "The worst that could happen is we could have military personnel at risk from either infectious diseases or for either chemical warfare or other things and not have the supplies to have them prepared to properly do battle," says Stephen Schondelmeyer of the inspector general's report.

Editorial: 'Fail and fix' doesn't work as Rx for drug supply chain

Star Tribune, Jun 4, 2021: "But recent congressional testimony by a University of Minnesota expert pointed out how things could have been much worse. 'If all states would have had the same kind of [COVID] surge as New York and New Jersey, at the same time, the U.S. would have had more shortages of medical and drug supplies, and these shortages would have been more severe,' according to the U's Stephen Schondelmeyer."

Legislators think they can improve the health care supply chain

Freight Waves, May 25, 2021: "'The re-shoring of some pharmaceutical production may be beneficial economically and logistically,' [Stephen Schondelmeyer] wrote. 'However, we must also remember that diverse geographic locations for supply may be more resilient.'" Also reported by CIDRAP.

Experts seek path to building a more resilient drug supply chain

BioWorld, Apr 19, 2021: "Now, with growing calls to increase supply chain resilience and a Biden administration executive order calling for an assessment of the situation, experts are looking for new paths to limit the risk of drug shortages, protect patient health, and to address pandemic preparedness and other national and health security threats."

Made-in-China pills come with unwanted side effects for the EU

Politico, Apr 15, 2021: "The 'big unknown' was in the so-called upstream part of the [drug] supply chain, where the starting chemicals for pharmaceutical ingredients are made and where China dominates. 'We know very little about the upstream supply chain,' [Stephen Schondelmeyer] said. 'That process is just not transparent at all.'"

Drug industry pushes FDA to solve growing inspection backlog

MedPage Today, Mar 2, 2021: "Stephen Schondelmeyer of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy Resilient Drug Supply Project said that drug shortages caused by the inspection backlog are a real threat and the FDA must do more. ... 'When you have bona fide, effective new therapies that aren't getting to market that has an impact on patients.'" Also reported by Becker's Hospital Review.

Biden to order review of pharmaceutical supply chain

MedPage Today, Feb 24, 2021: "'If we manufactured our entire supply of drugs in the U.S., it doesn't solve the problem if you put all the manufacturing in one facility and it gets wiped out by a hurricane,' [Stephen Schondelmeyer] said, recalling what happened when a hurricane hit Puerto Rico."

Older News

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No easy fixes for supply chain problems

MedPage Today, Dec 7, 2020: "The US drug supply chain works well in the middle, but the beginning and end leave much room for improvement, according to Stephen Schondelmeyer, PharmD, PhD, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis."

COVID-19 pandemic strains US's prescription drug supply chain

Denver 7, Nov 30, 2020: "'We should, as a matter of national policy, have a map like we're building of the global drug supply from the beginning all the way until the drug reaches the patient,' Schondelmeyer said." Also reported by other Local Scripps Media sources, such as Fox 17 West Michigan and 4 KXLF Butte.

U of M's Dr. Osterholm named to President-elect Biden's COVID-19 advisory board

Bring Me the News, Nov 9, 2020: "Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy [and co-principal investigator of RDSP] at the University of Minnesota, has been named to President-elect Joe Biden's 13-member COVID-19 Advisory Board." Also reported by CNN, The Washington Post, Fierce Healthcare, Becker's Hospital Review, Los Angeles Times, and others.

Pandemic-fighting drugs in shortage, again

PharmTech, Nov 2, 2020: "A recent report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota noted that 29 of 40 critical drugs used to treat patients with COVID-19 have experienced shortages. ... The pandemic may kick-start a number of changes in the way drugs are made. Identifying and qualifying the supply chain deserves a top spot on the list."

Minnesota's independent, family pharmacies struggle to survive

Star Tribune, Oct 31, 2020: "Minnesota’s long history with HMOs such as HealthPartners and Medica also pushed out a lot of independents, said Stephen Schondelmeyer, professor of pharmaceutical economics at the University of Minnesota. 'When health systems like HealthEast and Essentia got into retail pharmacy, it looked like they were community pharmacies but they were not independently owned,' he said. 'These health systems and PBMs push their patients to their own pharmacies.'"

U.S. hits highest daily number of coronavirus cases since pandemic began

The Washington Post, Oct 23, 2020: "A report this week by Osterholm's center showed shortages in 29 of the 40 basic but critical drugs used for covid-19 patients."

Coronavirus pandemic is causing 'unacceptable' shortages in US drug supplies, report says

CNN, Oct 22, 2020: "'The urgency with the drug shortage supply issue is related directly to the major increase in COVID-19 cases that we will experience in the coming months,' Michael Osterholm, the director of CIDRAP, said in a news release. ... The drug shortage in the U.S. isn't new and remain a 'perennial problem,' the authors wrote." Also covered by Becker's Hospital Review, The Hill, and the University of Minnesota.

Tackling dangerous drug shortages

US News & World Report, Oct 22, 2020: "The COVID-19 pandemic worsened global disruption of the supply chain, and that exacerbated shortages of nearly 40% of the drugs (including epinephrine, the asthma inhaler albuterol and certain antibiotics) considered essential for critical care, according to a March 2020 analysis by University of Minnesota researchers."

As COVID-19 intensifies, shortages of staple drugs may grow worse

STAT, Oct 21, 2020: "'The supply chain has already been stressed over the past years, but as we go through the fall and into the winter, we're going to have some real challenges' thanks to Covid-19, said Michael Osterholm, director of CIDRAP and co-principal investigator of the center's Resilient Drug Supply Project. ... As examples, they foresee the possibility of a five-fold jump in demand for midazolam, a commonly used sedative, and a 10-fold increase in the use of a muscle relaxant known as cisatracurium."

 

Drug recently shown to reduce coronavirus death risk could run out, experts warn

Science, Jun 21, 2020: "There aren't a lot of [unused] plants that can make sterile injectables of anything, let alone dexamethasone, so I'm not sure how much capacity they really have,' he [Stephen Schondelmeyer] says. Ramping up supply 'takes a lot of time, even if the world was normal and sane, let alone during COVID.'" Also reported in Inverse.

Stretched, secret supply chains hold COVID-19 patients' lives in the balance

Quartz, May 12, 2020: "Until now, companies have only had to report shortages in the finished dose to the FDA. The lists are helpful, said Professor Stephen Schondelmeyer, from the University of Minnesota's College of Pharmacy, but the reasons for shortages are 'very cursory and not really descriptive of what really happened behind the scenes.' ... At present, pharmacists are not able to tell if there will be a shortage for two weeks or for six months."

Pandemic exposes drug supply shortages doctors have grappled with for "more than two decades"

CBS, May 7, 2020: "A list put together by the University of Minnesota's Resilient Drug Supply Project shows that 32 out of 40 drugs deemed critical for treatment of COVID-19 patients are in short supply. ... 'We had drugs on the shortage list for more than two decades,' University of Minnesota Professor Stephen Schondelmeyer told CBS News' Anna Werner. 'COVID-19 has kind of brought this to light.'" Also reported in PharmTech and Becker's Hospital Review.

Will US drug supplies meet demand if Michigan hospitals see a second surge?

Michigan Radio, Apr 17, 2020: "'Generally wholesalers only have a month or two of stock on hand,' said Dave Margraf, a pharmaceutical research scientist at the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. 'Once that month is over, is there enough coming in from overseas and U.S. manufacturers to meet a second dip in the drugs we have? This is an unknown.'"

Spikes in demand from coronavirus patients are creating shortages of asthma drugs and sedatives for ventilator patients

The Washington Post, Apr 12, 2020: "The shortages show how a lack of basic information is hurting U.S. planning and readiness for a variety of disasters, said Stephen Schondelmeyer, a professor of pharmaceutical economics in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota."

Essential drug supplies for virus patients are running low

The New York Times, Apr 2, 2020: "'Out of 21 antibiotics that would be critical for treating secondary infections in Covid-19 patients, 18 antibiotics have greater than 80 percent of their supply coming out of either China, India or Italy—all places that have had production disruptions,' said Stephen Schondelmeyer, a professor at the University of Minnesota's College of Pharmacy who is a co-leader of the Resilient Drug Supply Project, which aims to provide a detailed map of the supply chain for important drugs used in the United States. Another factor that can affect the global supply chain is when countries ban export of certain drugs, either because of the trade wars or because they want to ensure supply for their own citizens, Mr. Schondelmeyer said."

CIDRAP finds supply chain risks availability of critical drugs during COVID-19 pandemic

University of Minnesota press release, Mar 26, 2020: "'With the COVID-19 pandemic expected to last many more months ... we call upon the pharmaceutical companies and their partners to publicly come forward with current inventor levels and information on the status and relative resiliency of their critical drug supply chains,' said Michael T. Osterholm." Also covered by DrugWatch.

Stocking meds ahead of coronavirus easier said than done

Kare 11, Feb 28, 2020: "'If we do have coronavirus cases taking place in the US, people may want to minimize being out and about,' said Stephen Schondelmeyer, professor of pharmaceutical economics at the UofM. 'You should at least have a full month supply and, when possible, talk to your doctor and your pharmacist and see if you can get a 90 day supply.'"

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison releases sweeping report on drug prices

Star Tribune, Feb 19, 2020: "Dr. Stephen Schondelmeyer, the task force's other co-chair, said he has been studying the local drug marketplace for 45 years. ... In the first weeks of 2020, he said 2,800 drugs saw price increases, with 200 going up more than 10%. A common pill to treat coughs and colds went from $22 to $213 per pill.'" 

University of Minnesota experts to examine week links in nation's medicine pipeline

Star Tribune, Jan 19, 2019: "The center this week announced a $5.4 million gift from the Walton Family Foundation—the charitable arm of the family behind the Walmart retain chain—to study weak links in the nation’s prescription drug pipeline. 'We don't pretend we're going to fix it [the drug shortages] yet,' Osterholm said in an interview. 'We've just got to get people to understand the vulnerability.'" Also covered by KTSP/5 Eyewitness News, CBS Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota

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