September 19, 2019
ASA Commends Lawmakers’ Efforts to Urge the FDA to Address Drug Shortages
On September 16, a group of 92 bipartisan lawmakers led by Representatives Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) sent a formal letter to the Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Norman “Ned” Sharpless reminding the FDA that Congress considers drug shortages a priority issue.
ASA, along with the American Hospital Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and American Society of Clinical Oncology were listed as endorsing organizations of the Congressional communication to FDA. ASA supports maintaining drug shortages as a priority for Congress and for the Administration. ASA had advocated for formation of a Drug Shortage task force and is anxiously awaiting this report.
Drug shortages greatly threaten the ability to deliver high quality care and compromise patient safety. ASA is committed to working with lawmakers to find lasting solutions to drug shortages; earlier this year, ASA submitted formal solutions to the FDA to address drug shortages. These recommendations stemmed from a 2018 Summit hosted by ASA and other stakeholders.
In a press release from the Office of Congressman Eliot L. Engel, ASA President Linda J. Mason, M.D., FASA stated, “Ensuring that essential drugs are available for safe surgical procedures remain a priority for ASA. This letter is an important reminder that Congress and the FDA must continue working to identify all causes of drug shortages and develop recommendations to ensure appropriate supplies of essential medications are always available. We applaud Congressman Engel and this bipartisan group of lawmakers for their commitment to high quality care and patient safety, and look forward to working with them on solutions to this ongoing problem.”
ASA commends Representatives Eliot L. Engel and Brett Guthrie and this group of lawmakers for their continued commitment to finding lasting solutions to drug shortages and looks forward to continuing working with them on this important matter.