Drug shortages were a recurring problem in the US healthcare system long before the COVID-19 pandemic. While many factors affect supply chain complications, the overriding one is that the country's pharmaceutical system operates on a "just-in-time" system rather than one that predicts and prevents issues. Check the dashboards below for the most recent shortages, or take a look at the complete PDF list, updated every week.

Download Critical Acute & COVID-19 Drug Lists

Lists updated 12.05.23

156 Critical Acute Drugs List

  • 49%: 76 of 156 critical acute drugs in shortage by ASHP
  • 26%: 40 of 156 critical acute drugs in shortage by FDA

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."

Recent shortages:

  • Insulin aspart (Nov 2023, ASHP)
  • Ampicillin (Oct 2023, ASHP)
  • Betamethasone acetate/betamethasone sodium phosphate (Sep 2023, ASHP)
  • Levofloxacin (Sep 2023, ASHP)
  • Hydroxobalamin solution for injection (Sep 2023, ASHP)
  • Protamine sulfate injection (May 2023, ASHP)
  • Penicillin G benzathine (Apr 2023, ASHP)
  • Adenosine injection (Apr 2023, ASHP)


  • Valproate sodium (May 2023, ASHP)
  • Ceftazidime (Feb 2023, ASHP)
  • Calcium gluconate injection (Feb 2023, ASHP)
  • Prochlorperazine maleate (Dec 2022, ASHP)
  • Cefazolin (Dec 2022, FDA)
  • Continuous renal replacement therapy (Sep 2022, FDA)
  • Cefepime injection (Sep 2022, ASHP)

40 Critical COVID-19 Drugs

  • 58%: 23 of 40 critical COVID-19 drugs in shortage by ASHP
  • 45%: 18 of 40 critical COVID-19 drugs in shortage by FDA


  • Gentamicin (Jul 2022, FDA)

ASHP Drug Shortages

  • 76 drugs are currently in shortage by ASHP standards

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

  • 40 drugs are currently in shortage by FDA standards

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


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