Drug Shortages Increasing at 'Alarming Rate,' Says AHA
The AHA made public the results of its survey at a Capitol Hill press conference that also endorsed bipartisan legislation to address the drug shortages. U.S. Reps. Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) are cosponsors of the "Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act," which they said will improve patient safety by reducing shortages of life-saving drugs.
The bill would expand existing law to combat drug shortages by:
- Requiring manufacturers of all prescription drugs, including biologics, to notify the FDA of any discontinuance or interruption in the production of a drug at least six months in advance;
- Requiring manufacturers to notify the FDA as soon as possible in the event of an unplanned discontinuance or interruption;
- Instructing FDA to publish these notifications and any drug shortage on its website, and work to distribute this information to appropriate healthcare providers and patient organizations; and,
- Directing a GAO study to examine the possible causes of drug shortages, including manufacturing problems, breakdown in supply chains and delivery systems, and restrictive regulatory requirements.
The AHA, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Institute for Safe Medication Practices have endorsed the bill.
John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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