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 MurphyWant to improve health care? Get Americans off of their couches Situation in Yemen should lead us to return to a constitutional foreign policy Overnight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war MORE (D-Conn.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOvernight Health Care: Opioids package nears finish line | Measure to help drug companies draws ire | Maryland ObamaCare rates to drop Overnight Health Care: HHS diverts funds to pay for detaining migrant children | Health officials defend transfers | Lawmakers consider easing drug company costs in opioids deal Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens 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.”