Health Groups Release Recommendations on Drug Shortages

They include conducting a GAO study to identify factors that contribute to shortages and developing a list of critical drugs essential for emergency response and preserving life.

The American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices have released recommendations resulting from a September summit on the subject of drug shortages. Their recommendations call for regulatory, legislative, and other actions to address ongoing shortages of critical medications affecting patient care, according to AHA.

The 19 recommendations include urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to share more information to help health care providers and manufacturers prepare for shortages; conducting a Government Accountability Office study to identify new and emerging factors that contribute to shortages; developing a list of critical drugs essential for emergency response and preserving life; and offering incentives to manufacturers that create contingency production plans for pharmaceuticals on the critical drug list.

The document also recommends creating a multi-stakeholder advisory panel with the FDA to address key issues such as the possibility of creating a stockpile of critical drugs, as well as the logistics of warehousing that excess pharmaceutical inventory and where it would be stored.

The recommendations were developed by participants at a sept. 20 summit examining vulnerabilities in the supply chain, U.S. dependence on foreign-sourced pharmaceutical ingredients, disaster planning and response efforts, and risk factors associated with pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution.

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