Drug Shortages Recently Reached an All-Time High: Should You Be Stockpiling?

Drug Shortages Recently Reached an All-Time High: Should You Be Stockpiling?

We are already halfway through 2024 and it has been a rocky ride so far, to say the very least. Drug shortages had reached new highs earlier this year. Regional conflicts are spilling out into larger wars, and both sides are talking about what used to be a taboo topic: nuclear war. Add to that the looming avian flu crisis (former CDC director predicts bird flu pandemic)- and an outbreak of a new COVID variant so cutely named” Flirt” is sweeping the country.

Drug shortages are the highest in a decade, with 2023 topping the charts, according to United States Pharmacopeia’s first annual Drug Shortage Report (USP).

“The number of drug shortages has increased over a decade, with 125 active drug shortages monitored by FDA at the end of 2023. ... This high number of shortages is a direct result of persistent market vulnerabilities,” the report authors wrote. “According to our analysis, over a quarter of drugs in shortage were new drug shortages (34 products) in 2023.”

The report notes that the average drug shortage lasts more than three years. In the event of was or another pandemic it will most likely be much longer.

Wars and Rumors of Another Pandemic

What would happen if war or pandemic were to break out?

  • Supply chains would be abruptly cut off due to transportation and supply chain disruptions, given the fact that China and India are our main sources of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).
  • The U.S.-China Commission report states: "China is the world's largest producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs)." And that "Given China's dominance of the global market for APIs, it is highly likely that most generic drugs imported into the United States contain active ingredients sourced from China.
  • China and India are part of the BRICS, which is an association of major emerging economies that are attempting to reduce reliance on the US dollar. Both China and India’s allegiance to the BRICs makes it highly unlikely either country would trade with the U.S. if war broke out. (1,2)

During a national emergency or pandemic, you are on your own

  • The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act gives the federal government the authority to seize and redistribute pharmaceuticals and medical supplies during a national emergency. (3)
  • American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 appropriated funds for the purchase, production, and distribution of medical supplies related to combating the COVID-19 pandemic, including personal protective equipment, diagnostic tests, and drugs/devices for treating COVID-19. (4)

The federal government exercised this authority during the COVID-19 pandemic by redistributing personal protective equipment and other medical supplies through programs like Project Airbridge run by FEMA.

Are you going to be prepared or will you submit to the government’s whims when you are ill and need lifesaving drugs? Will the government require you to submit to medical interventions to get the pharmaceuticals and medical supplies you need? 

Bringing back production to our shores, but it will take time

 Back in 2020, former President Trump signed legislation that lowered taxes on the income from domestic manufacturing and domestic production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and drugs. The tide is slowly turning, but like anything involving the government, it will be years before we see this become a widespread reality.

Take a practical, prepared approach

Every situation is unique. Each person’s medical needs are unique. However, we are entering unprecedented and uncharted waters when it comes to supply chain disruptions.

COVID-era drug shortages would pale in comparison to what could happen, given the likelihood of another pandemic and even war seems to grow daily.

Once the supply chain is cut, you will be left with what you have in your medicine cabinet.

We take for granted the availability of medications and medical supplies. But the situation around the world is looking dire.

The time is now to stock up.

There has been an ongoing shortage of lifesaving Epinephrine, used in the case of anaphylaxis. Several antibiotics are also listed on the drug shortage list which you can access here:

FDA drug shortage list

If these drugs are in short supply now, all it takes is a declaration of war (or pandemic) and the supply lines could be shut down for an extended period of time- at least months.

Everyday illnesses, easily treated with medications- such as strep throat, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, allergic reactions and more can prove fatal if you aren’t prepared.

Don’t wait for the next pandemic or war

Don’t wait until it is too late. As we have seen before, it wasn’t just toilet paper you couldn’t get. Lifesaving ivermectin was another medication that was almost impossible to access.

Must-Have Kits to Weather in Incoming Storm

All these kits are designed by Dr. McCullough and his colleagues and will prove to be lifesaving in the likely event that supply chains and drug availability are shut down.

All our kits come with the option that they can be replenished (at additional cost) in the event you need to use any of the medications in the kits, a detailed guidebook, and consultation with a doctor.

Get what you can now

  1. The Contagion Emergency Kit, contains five life-saving prescription antivirals – including generic Tamiflu™, ivermectin and budesonide inhalation, nebulizer, and more.
  2. The First Aid Emergency Kit with Epinephrine (Epinephrine is currently on the FDA drug shortage list) could save your life. This kit is packed with prescription medications and first aid supplies that most likely won’t be available during a national emergency.
  3. The Medical Emergency Kit treats over 30 medical conditions and contains prescription antibiotics, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-nausea medications that are historically in short supply (or not available).
  4. Our Travel Emergency Kit will cover you in the event you are on the road. Filled with prescription antibiotics, anti-nausea patches, allergy relief medications, and more, this kit will prove indispensable during your travels.


  1. S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. (2019). Growing U.S. reliance on China's biotech and pharmaceutical products [PDF file]. https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/2019-11/Chapter%203%20Section%203%20-%20Growing%20U.S.%20Reliance%20on%20China%E2%80%99s%20Biotech%20and%20Pharmaceutical%20Products.pdf
  2. (n.d.). BRICS: Acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/brics.asp
  3. Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. Ch. 68 (2022). https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?edition=prelim&path=%2Fprelim%40title42%2Fchapter68[2]
  4. Text - H.R.1319 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. (2021, March 11). https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/1319/text

By Brooke Lounsbury

About our editorial team

The TWC Editorial team is comprised of various wellness practitioners from physiotherapists, acupuncturists, fitness instructors, herbalists, and MDs.

This article does not constitute medical advice. Please consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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