Prescription drug shortages in the US are primarily limited to generic injectables, but are increasing concern according to a new study produced by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

The study calls for healthcare stakeholders to create an early warning system to prevent future shortages, minimising disruption to patient care.

The study has found that of the drug shortages, in excess of 80% are generic products and injectables, representing a small proportion of the complete medicine market.

They do, however, include a number of drugs deemed critical to the treatment of potentially life-threatening conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease and central nervous system conditions.