Bipartisan group of senators asks FDA to examine drug shortages

Bipartisan group of senators asks FDA to examine drug shortages
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A bipartisan group of senators is asking the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide recommendations to Congress on how to address nationwide drug shortages.

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Sens. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support House passes bill to end US support for Saudi war in Yemen This week: Border deal remains elusive as shutdown looms MORE (D-Conn.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyCongress must step up to protect Medicare home health care Ivanka Trump to meet with GOP senators to discuss paid family leave legislation Bipartisan senators ask industry for information on surprise medical bills MORE (R-La.) led a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. They, along with 29 of their Senate colleagues, asked the agency to convene its Drug Shortages Task Force in an effort to determine the causes of these shortages and craft policy recommendations on how to fix them by no later than the end of 2019.

Specifically, the letter mentions drug shortages for some routinely used medications, such as local anesthetics and sterile IV fluids, the latter of which is used to deliver nearly every drug in an emergency or surgical setting.

“These are essential products used every day, and for many of them there are no suitable alternatives that are readily available,” the senators wrote. “This can result in suboptimal pain control or sedation for patients, and ultimately limit patient access to the most appropriate care.”