There’s a shortage of antidepressants in the US. Will Australia join the queue?

Global drug manufacturers including U.S. pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, have indicated a sudden surge in demand for a range of popular antidepressant medications has left them unable to fill many of their current orders.

Some manufacturers say they are having trouble sourcing reliable supply of APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients), while others say an unexpected increase in demand, presumably due anxiety triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, is also to blame.

Supply disruptions are affecting including both commercial and generic manufacturers in the U.S.

According to Bloomberg, prescriptions for one of the U.S.’s most popular anti-anxiety medications rocketed up 12 per cent year-over-year to 4.9 million in March 2020.

Generic manufacturer, Accord Healthcare, told the U.S.’s Federal Drug Administration (FDA) they were, “…unable to obtain the API to mfg (manufacturing) due to the impacts caused by COVID-19.” What those ‘impacts’ are exactly is not stated.

Whatever the actual reason for the supply disruption, some in the industry believe it may be many months before backorders are filled – and that’s for U.S. customers. Where does that leave Australian pharmacies?

It’s estimated that up to 90 per cent of the drugs prescribed in Australia come from overseas, with the biggest proportion of this, by far, coming from the U.S.

Our heavy reliance on the U.S. for medication supply means Australia might soon experience its own shortages in commonly prescribed mental health medications – however rather than stockpiling medication there is another solution.

When presented with a script from a qualified medical practitioner, National Custom Compounding can make many antidepressant and other mental health medication using the same raw, active ingredients as those of the manufacturer. We can do this safely and accurately in our government-approved and fully compliant compounding laboratory.

If you have customers presenting scripts for mental health medication that you’re unable to fill due to national medication shortages, suggest they ask their doctor for a compounded medication script of the same drug, then talk to us about our efficient ordering process and fast turnaround times.

For more information on how compounded medication can be of assistance to you and your customers during medication shortages contact one of the friendly team at National Custom Compounding on 1300 731 755 or send an email to [email protected]

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