Drug Safety Project

The drug supply chain has become increasingly complex in recent years. Today’s prescription and over-the-counter remedies originate in factories all over the world, moving into American homes through supply chains that can involve numerous processing plants, manufacturers, suppliers, brokers, packagers, and distributors. This increases the risk that substandard or counterfeit medicines could reach patients and contributes to shortages of essential medicines. Pew’s work on drug safety helps to ensure a safe, reliable pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution system.

Our Work

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  • Charges Made for Deadly Outbreak Linked to Compounded Medicine

    Fourteen people—including former pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and the owners of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts—were charged Dec. 17 for their alleged roles in a 2012 outbreak of spinal meningitis that sickened more than 750 people and killed 64. Contamination of compounded steroid injections led to a recall of all the company’s products in... Read More

  • Opportunities for Drug Serialization to Make U.S. Drug Supply Chain Safer, More Secure

    As repackagers, shippers, and businesses at every link in the supply chain work with regulators to implement the law, they have the opportunity to use serial numbers to provide even stronger protections against counterfeit, tainted, or stolen drugs. Read More

  • Drug Shortages

    Drug shortages are an ongoing U.S. public health crisis. New annually reported incidents grew dramatically from 117 in 2007 to a high of 255 in 2011. Although such reports have begun to decline, unresolved drug shortages persist. In 2012, the United States experienced 456 active drug shortages, many of them crucial medicines used in cancer treatment, surgery, and intensive care. Read More

Media Contact

Linda Paris

Officer, Communications