July 13, 2018
ASA Advocacy on Drug Shortages Results in FDA Action
Today, the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement regarding the formation of a new drug shortages task force and the FDA’s efforts to search for long-term solutions to the drug shortages problem.
While citing improvements, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also said "more can and must be done across our health care system to achieve more enduring solutions" to the problem.
This announcement follows transmission of an ASA co-lead bipartisan letter sent to the Commissioner last month. Over 130 lawmakers from both chambers of Congress sent formal Congressional letters urging the FDA to address critical shortages of injectable anesthetics and intravenous pain medications.
"Lawmakers have recently urged us to develop new proposals for the actions that we believe could have a more enduring impact on solving these vulnerabilities,” said the Commissioner. “In that spirit, they’ve asked us to consider whether the FDA or other federal agencies may need additional authorities to help ensure that patients have continued access to their medicine. They have also asked us for recommendations on the policy steps we can implement to address the root causes that give rise to shortages. We are taking up this cause."
During LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE 2018, more than 600 physician anesthesiologists visited lawmakers on Capitol Hill asking Members of Congress to find permanent and comprehensive solutions to this critical patient safety issue by working with the FDA and other stakeholders.
Previously, ASA also sent a formal communication to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) expressing concerns regarding severe shortages of injectable medications, requesting that the Secretary work with the FDA to convene all of the stakeholders to find permanent solutions to drug shortages.
Ensuring that essential drugs are available for safe surgical procedures remain a priority for ASA. Your ASA physician leaders and staff will provide updates on the progress of these new efforts.