March 14, 2011
Senator Requests GAO Study of Drug Shortages
Senator Richard (Dick) Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting an investigation of drug shortages. In his letter, Senator Blumenthal requests that the GAO investigation “examine the extent of hospital shortages of pharmaceutical products and the prevalence of these shortages in recent years, the impact of such shortages on patient care, possible explanations, and potential legislative or administrative approaches to addressing this problem.” The letter follows Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) introduction of S.296, the “Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act.”
ASA supports a GAO investigation into drug shortages. ASA agrees with Senator Blumenthal that, “Patient access to a stable and reliable source of life-saving medicine is incredibly important, and the federal government should give all due attention to efforts to address these shortages.”
ASA continues to take a leadership role in addressing drug shortages. In November, ASA co-convened a Drug Shortages Summit with relevant stakeholders to examine the root causes of drug shortages as well as potential action that can be taken to alleviate the suffering to patients caused by these shortages. ASA’s lobby team has met with the staff of a number of federal lawmakers, including Senator Blumenthal’s staff, to discuss the implications of the drug shortages for anesthesiologists.
Click here to read the letter Senator Blumenthal sent to the GAO requesting the investigation.