Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has introduced S.296, the “Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act.” This legislation is an important first step in addressing drug shortages that are negatively impacting patients care across America today.
The legislation primarily focuses on increasing the amount of notification manufacturers must provide to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when there is a discontinuation, interruption, or adjustment to the production of a specific drug. The legislation would also require manufacturers in coordination with the FDA, to develop contingency plans if the drug they are producing has the potential to go into shortage.
In a press release introducing this legislation, Senator Klobuchar said, “Physicians, pharmacists and patients are currently among the last to know when an essential drug will no longer be available – that’s not right. This common-sense solution will help set up an early warning system so pharmacists and physicians can prepare in advance and ensure that patients continue to receive the best care possible. As we move forward, it is important that we have better coordination between the pharmaceutical industry, the FDA and health care providers so patients don’t lose access to the medications they depend on.”
While legislation is an important step forward, it is just the first step in a multifaceted approach that is necessary to alleviate the drug shortages facing our patients.
A copy of the legislation and a section by section summary is available on ASA’s Drug Shortage webpage.
Click here to read a joint press release in support of S.296 released by the conveners of the Drug Shortage Summit.
Click here to read ASA's letter of support for S.296