Ongoing drug shortages have forced hospitals to rely on inexpensive generics, but cheaper medication can create problems all of their own.
Many common drugs, even generics that have been on the market for decades, have been in short supply due to their low prices, expired patents and shortages of raw material, according to Reuters. They include crucial drugs such as benzathine penicillin, which prevents transmission of syphilis from mother to child.
"Medicines can be too cheap," Hans Hogerzeil, professor of global health at Groningen University in the Netherlands and a former director for the World Health Organization (WHO), told Reuters. "For a viable market model you need at least three and preferably five different manufacturers."
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