US drug shortages are set to reach record high in 2011, report says

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 22 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d8307
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

Drug shortages in the US have increased since 2006 and are likely to set a record in 2011, says a report issued on 15 December by the US Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. The report recommends that Congress require manufacturers to alert the Food and Drug Administration of possible shortages and that the FDA increase its ability to respond to drug shortages.

President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order in October calling the shortages “a perilous and growing threat to public health” (BMJ 2011;343:d7158, doi:10.1136/bmj.d7158). He directed the FDA to prevent and reduce shortages by requiring manufacturers to give the FDA advance notice of shortages. He also told the FDA to expedite its review of new drug suppliers, manufacturing sites, and manufacturing changes. He directed the FDA to alert the Department of Justice about attempts to stockpile drugs or sell them at exorbitant prices.

Bills have been …

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