The shortage of drugs is due to technical reasons such as raw materials and production equipment, as well as production and operation profits.
In August 2015, the stock-out of a cheap anti-cancer drug called actinomycete D once again raised concerns about companies stopping the production of cheap drugs.
In fact, in addition to “actinomycin D”, there has also been a shortage of other low-cost drugs, such as protamine, berberine, licorice tablets, etc., as well as human blood albumin, coagulation factor VIII. and so on due to the shortage of raw materials.
The shortage of “orphan drugs” has given rise to a large number of illegal channels, and many patients and their families have no choice but to seek hope from the “online black market” and overseas purchasing agents.
119 yuan, 0.2mg*5pcs/box (Source: Kangaido Online Pharmacy), 2015
It is mainly used to treat common malignant solid tumors in children. In addition, it has a definite effect on gynecological trophoblastic tumors and ovarian cancer.
There are a total of 3 domestic enterprises approved for the production of actinomycin D and actinomycin D for injection, namely Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Hisun Pfizer Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Xinya Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
In August 2015, a cheap anti-cancer drug called Actinomycete D was out of stock
, once again raising public concern that companies stop producing cheap drugs.
(Alias: Photomycin A5)
59.5 yuan, 8mg/bottle (from: Kangde Pharmacy), 2015
Basic medication for the treatment of malignant germ cell tumors.
There are 2 enterprises approved to produce pingyangmycin hydrochloride in China, namely Jilin Aodong Pharmaceutical Group Yanji Co., Ltd. and Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. A total of 4 enterprises have been approved to produce pingyangmycin hydrochloride for injection, including Lin Aodong Pharmaceutical Group Yanji Co., Ltd., Tianjin Taihe Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Hisun Pfizer Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and Harbin Laibotong Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
The incidence of malignant germ cell tumors is only a few per 10,000, which is a rare disease. Although pingyangmycin can effectively treat such diseases, it has a narrow range of availability and high research and development costs.
(Alias: West Continent)
18 yuan, 0.4mg (2ml * 5 sticks) (from: Kuaiyijie Drug Network), 2015
A commonly used cardiovascular drug, mainly used clinically for heart failure.
There are a total of 4 enterprises approved to produce desylpiloside injection in China, namely Shanghai Xudong Haipu Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Shanghai Zhaohui Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Chengdu Beite Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Shaanxi Jingxi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
In CCTV’s “News 1+1” broadcast on May 8, 2014, can “low-cost medicine” be saved at a “low price”? In the program, Shen Jiaming, deputy general manager of Bengbu Fengyuan Tushan Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., talked about the shortage of low-priced drugs in the market,
“The more we produce, the more we lose.”
Corticotropin for injection
It is reported that ACTH used to be a limited-price drug of the National Development and Reform Commission. In 2006, the National Development and Reform Commission issued  No. 2989, which limited the maximum retail price of 354 drugs, and ACTH was among them, with a maximum limit price of 7.16 yuan per unit. Xiaobian query, the quotation from Baidu Health is 500 yuan.
A common medicine for the treatment of infantile spasms, effective for infantile spasms.
The only enterprise approved to produce corticotropin for injection in China is Shanghai Shanghai Pharmaceutical First Biochemical Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
The price of ACTH per box is less than 8 yuan, which can be described as “good quality and low price”, but it has encountered the dilemma of short supply.
On the black market, a box of ACTH was fried to 4,000 yuan
, equivalent to more than 500 times the normal price.
64.6-66 yuan, 50mgx5pcs/box (from: Baidu Health), 2015
At the end of heart surgery, patients need to use “protamine” to decoagulate to prevent heavy bleeding, which is an indispensable drug in cardiac surgery.
There are 2 enterprises approved to produce sulfur protamine in China, namely Shanghai First Biochemical Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Beijing Si’an Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. There are two enterprises approved to produce sulfur protamine injection, namely Shanghai First Biochemical Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Beijing Yuekang Hyatt Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
September 20, 2011, Guangzhou Daily:
In mid-September, the shortage of protamine broke out in Beijing and Shanghai, and the operation in large and small hospitals was suspended, and doctors rushed overnight to borrow medicine.
It is said that the current supply of protamine can only reach 1/4 of normal demand, and the shortage crisis will continue at least until the second quarter of next year.
16.5 yuan, 5mg*100s (from: Jianke.com), 2015
Antithyroid drugs, used in various types of hyperthyroidism.
There are 13 enterprises approved to produce methylthiimidazole tablets in China, including Shanghai Zhongxi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Shanghai Xinyi Tianping Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Shanghai Huanghe Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and Beijing Yanjing Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
For the 3 million hyperthyroid patients in China who need long-term medication, cheap and easy-to-use methimazole tablets can be described as their life-saving drugs.
However, in 2013, due to almost no profit, 13 domestic pharmaceutical factories with methimazole tablet production qualifications have stopped production.
Human coagulation factor VIII
No reference price
Human coagulation factor VIII is a life-saving drug for the treatment of hemophilia.
There are 7 domestic enterprises approved to produce human coagulation factor VIII. including Shanghai Institute of Biological Products Co., Ltd., Hualan Bioengineering Co., Ltd., and Shanghai RAAS Blood Products Co., Ltd.
Due to the shortage of raw materials, there is a shortage of coagulation factor VIII.
At present, the State Food and Drug Administration has required domestic enterprises with the qualification to produce thrombin products to give priority to the production of “lyophilized human coagulation factor eight”; The health authorities also urgently allocate plasma for use in the production of thrombin-based blood products by blood product manufacturers.
In addition to the dilemma of “out of stock” of the above products, there are also 6 yuan/20 capsules of ciprofloxacin hydrochloride capsules for the treatment of genitourinary infections that were out of stock in 2012; In 2004, the treatment of thrombophlebitis was out of stock 8 yuan/100 tablets, and so on.
(Note: The list of approved manufacturers comes from the website of the State Food and Drug Administration)
What to do?
Is it that every time there is a shortage of cheap life-saving drugs, they have to seek help through doctors’ Weibo, and hospitals supply drugs across provinces? Does every family have to go through such a tortuous and heart-wrenching process of searching for medicine?
Yan Shijie, director of the Department of Gynecology of the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, believes that relevant departments should introduce policies for “orphan drugs” as soon as possible, or completely open the market to make pharmaceutical companies profitable; Either designate some manufacturers to produce and timely transfer such drugs through the reserve bank to ensure the supply of such drugs in hospitals. At the same time, a national reserve system and an alert mechanism should be established for the very necessary “orphan drugs”.
In April 2015, the Health and Family Planning Commission of Jiangsu Province summarized and analyzed the information on shortage drugs reported by monitoring and reporting in the province, listed 17 types of shortage drugs such as tetanus and antitoxin in the list of shortage drugs in the province, and carried out designated reserves in four provincial reserve points in Nanjing, Xuzhou, Huai’an and Taizhou to ensure effective supply.
Experts say that the shortage of “orphan drugs” has occurred repeatedly, and measures are being taken everywhere, but if there is no implementation of policies at the national level, it will still face the embarrassing situation of “smart women are difficult to cook without rice”.
“This requires a long-term mechanism to guarantee, and we can’t hope to save people with gimmicks like the ‘ice bucket challenge’ every time we encounter a rare disease, right?”
Produced by: “Minsheng Weekly” New Media Center
Curator/Written by: Luo Fangfei