Let’s create a more secure and sustainable essential medicine supply chain.

When Americans go to a hospital, visit a doctor, or need an ambulance, they expect the drugs that they need will be on the shelf — whether to treat minimal health care needs or more urgent life-threatening conditions. But in reality, some of the most critical medicines we rely on are delayed or unavailable due to a poorly designed global supply chain that has resulted in shortages of our nation’s most essential medicines. National Essential Medicine Shortage Awareness Day is designed to acknowledge a problem that many Americans will face at some point in their lives and work together toward a life-saving solution.

Drug shortages in the U.S. are at crisis level

Drug shortages continue to pose a real and persistent challenge to public health – particularly when the shortage involves a critical drug used to treat cancer, pain, infection, heart conditions, autoimmune disease, behavioral health conditions, or to address another serious medical condition for which adequate alternative treatments are not available.

medicines are in short supply, as of March 2024, marking the highest level since the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) began tracking this issue in 2001.¹


Data: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; Note: Each point represents the number of active shortages at the end of each quarter.

what is impacting drug shortages? 2,3

quality problems during

a sole-source

Market Dynamics

Such as competitors withdrawing from the market and mergers.

trade barriers


Natural Disasters


world health crisis


geopolitical conflict

What we can do 3, 4:

Medicine shortages in the Unites States have dire consequence’s for our public health, leading to delayed treatments and compromised healthcare. To address this issue, action is needed to proactively identify risks, invest in quality systems and advanced manufacturing technologies, invest in domestic strategic API reserves, and ensure supplier diversification through strategic onshoring for critical generic drugs regularly used by healthcare providers throughout the country. By working together to respond to this decades-long problem, we can safeguard the future health and well-being of our Nation.

engage with your audience about #StoptheShortages

September 8th marks National Essential Medicine Shortage Awareness Day (NEMSAD), and it doesn’t need to end there. Please join us to continue to spread awareness and spur action. The purpose of National Essential Medicine Shortage Awareness Day is to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about the ongoing essential medicine shortage crisis in the United States affecting hospitals across the country and to take action to solve this crisis

One of the best ways to draw attention to the essential medicine shortage crisis is on social media. Hashtags, posts, testimonials, quotes, “calls to action,” and infographics on social media are some of the best ways to make as many individuals as possible aware of this issue and to motivate them to help


Awareness Day Resources

Key Questions About Essential Medicine Shortages

What is an Essential Medicine?

Essential medicines form a broad category that includes critical care medicines, medicines in ICU, pain management, blood pressure control, and sedation.

Please refer to this link for a list of all the essential medicines currently in shortage.

What Essential Medicines are in Shortage Currently?

You can review the most current list of all the essential medicines in shortage on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website at www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/drugshortages/.

How can an essential medicine shortage impact me?

There are over 100 essential generic medicines and/or their ingredients whose production has been outsourced to foreign countries, leading to a risk of shortage. Many of these critical medicines are needed for treating patients with life-threatening illnesses and are made from active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) that are solely manufactured abroad.

In some cases, basic essential medications that are used every day in emergency departments, outpatient clinics, and on ambulances are in short supply. As a result, essential medicine shortages often result in the replacement of first-line therapies with alternative medications, create medication errors, and compromise or delay medical procedures. National Essential Medicine Shortage Awareness Day aims to inspire others to take action, collaborate, and form partnerships that protect America’s medicine cabinet for good.

How can I help?
Get Social!

September 8th marks National Essential Medicine Shortage Awareness Day (NEMSAD), and it doesn’t need to end there. Please join us to continue to spread awareness.

  • Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and engage with the online National Essential Medicine Shortage Awareness Day community
  • Use the hashtag #StopTheShortage and #NEMSAD on your photos and posts to help build momentum for the day and spread awareness