November 11, 2019
ASA Co-Hosts Drug Shortages Briefing on Capitol Hill
On November 5, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) co-hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill titled “Drug Shortages are Harming Patients & Breaking Budgets: A Need for Congress to Act” along with several other medical groups, including drug shortages stakeholder organizations: American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Hospital Association (AHA) and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who is leading efforts in the U.S. Senate to address drug shortages, began the briefing by highlighting the importance of advancing ASA-endorsed, bipartisan legislation S. 2723, the Mitigating Emergency Drug Shortages (MEDS) Act, which she introduced last week alongside Senator Tina Smith (D-MN). ASA and other stakeholders worked closely with the Senators to ensure the bill included recommendations from ASA’s September 2018 Summit.
The briefing featured expert panelists including ASA member Edward Mariano, M.D., MAS, Chair of the ASA Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Medicine Committee. Dr. Mariano discussed the impact drug shortages have on patient care, how they can lead to increased physician burnout and the urgent need for Congress to find a solution to drug shortages. Additional panelists included Peter Adamson, M.D., Brian Marden, PharmD and Daniel Teich, PharmD.
Coinciding with the briefing and introduction of the MEDS Act, the FDA Drug Shortages Task Force released its report, Drug Shortages: Root Causes and Potential Solutions, just a week earlier. The report closely aligns with ASA recommendations and complements the bill.
ASA is honored to have led this important discussion and looks forward to continuing working with Congress and the Administration to address this critical issue impacting patient care.
Senator Susan Collins with ASA member Edward Mariano, M.D., MASA.