Klobuchar, American Hospital Association want to fix drug shortage crisisU.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar joined Rick Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association (AHA), Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Representative Tom Rooney (R-FL) this week to call attention to ongoing drug shortages that they say are impacting health care providers and patients across the nation.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar joined Rick Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association (AHA), Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Representative Tom Rooney (R-FL) this week to call attention to ongoing drug shortages that they say are impacting health care providers and patients across the nation.
According to a new report released by the AHA, nearly all of the surveyed U.S. hospitals have dealt with shortages of a variety of critical drugs in the past six months and more than 80 percent had reported delays in patient treatments due to drug shortages. Klobuchar, who earlier this year introduced legislation to establish an early-warning system for potential drug shortages, reiterated her commitment to working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and hospitals, pharmacists, and patients to address this problem.
“We are facing an unprecedented shortage of critical medications used to treat a wide range of illnesses – from cancer to cystic fibrosis to cardiac arrest – that is causing significant risks to patient safety,” said Klobuchar. “Given the scope of the problem, it’s clear we need a coordinated strategy to root out the causes of these drug shortages and prevent them before they happen.”
Klobuchar, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Senator Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Burr (R-NC), Senator McCain (R-AZ), and Senator Corker (R-TN) have formed a working group in the Senate that is aimed at bringing patients, doctors, pharmacists, manufacturers, and the FDA to stop drug shortages.
The Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act, introduced by Klobuchar and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) in February 2011, would give the FDA the ability to require early notification from pharmaceutical companies when a factor arises that may result in a shortage. These factors may include changes made to raw material supplies, adjustments to manufacturer production capabilities, and certain business decisions such as mergers, withdrawals, or changes in output. Early notification would allow the FDA to coordinate efforts to prevent shortages from impacting patients. The bill would also direct the FDA to provide up-to-date public notification of any shortage situation and the actions the agency would take to address them.