The FDA's conception of drug shortages is simplistic compared with a Canadian study, which explains the reasons for drug shortages in North America and globally. The study maintains that drug supply is primarily organized through the market, which reliant on unstable actors, including national and international raw material suppliers and manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and hospital and retail pharmacies. A wrinkle in any of these actors' drug-producing processes can easily lead to drug shortages.
The article cites potential solutions to drug shortage problems in Canada, proposed by Dr. Joel Lexchin (Ontario) at an April 2012 meeting of the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Health and Dr. Jana Havrankova (Quebec). These suggested solutions include the establishment of a Crown corporation to produce generic drugs in Canada. Better communication between manufacturers and regulatory agencies is also suggested. Government-owned, publicly funded generic manufacturers have been established in Sweden along with a network of public network of associated pharmacies, Thailand, and Brazil. In Thailand and Brazil, however, Crown corporations to produce drugs are used as a cost-control strategy, to ensure that drug prices remain competitive.
In Canada, the establishment of a Crown corporation within the pharmaceutical sector may produce the competitive edge needed for current companies to strive for better production and availability outcomes than those achieved in the current Canadian market.